The shop opened back in November in Raleigh's Five Points at 2008-2010 Fairview Rd., just down the street from NOFO and Hayes Barton Cafe.
Owned by wife-and-husband team Laurence and Philippe Kneuss, the two have cultivated a special collection of French foods - including cheeses, wines, tins of cookies and candy - and an impressive selection of books, especially children's picture books and graphic novels.
Take a look ...
I have a big heart for picture books, which are truly works of art - even if you don't know what the words say. But the shop has some options for English-only readers too.
"Some are in English. Others are in French," Laurence tells me. "All of the books are written by Francophone writers."
I speak some French and will occasionally use French phrases with my own kids, who speak Spanish. So when we visited the shop a couple of weeks ago, I was excited to find an easy French vocabulary book for my eight-year-old and a French phrasebook for my teenager. The store also has a great selection of French favorites, including Asterix, Tin Tin, Babar and, of course, The Little Prince, among many others.
Laurence says she has plans to add even more books to the already impressive selection of children's books at the shop.
And, this Saturday, June 2, she is launching a weekly French storytime, which will run through the summer. The programs are scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturdays. She'll read a book in French and then lead a discussion about it - in English and French, depending on the participants.
The store also offers other regular events, including wine and cheese tastings and other activities. Book clubs will start up in the fall - one for French-speakers and another for adults who want to learn to read French. Laurence said they also could extend the storytime then or even create a book club for kids.
Laurence, who moved to Raleigh with her husband in 2016, said they picked the area because there's a good-sized Francophone community thanks to the region's universities and companies from around the world.
Still, most shoppers are Americans who simply love French culture.
"We've met a lot of American people who want to read in French," she said.
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