Running away to the French countryside is a common dream for deskbound urbanites worldwide.
But local business owner Mario Rimet wants to bring a taste of France to San Francisco through his soon-to-be-opened organic grocery store in Portrero Hill, Le Marché Cezanne.
Named after the famed French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne, the new grocery store—slated to open Nov. 12—will specialize in locally sourced produce, meat and seafood. Shoppers can also look forward to specialty goods from Bay Area suppliers such as Olive This Olive That and Liquified Juicery in the East Bay. The grocery store will also carry an assortment of French cheeses, nodding to the proprietor’s Gallic roots, and feature a grab-and-go takeaway window serving coffee from SF’s very own Ritual Coffee Roasters and pastries from Dogpatch’s Neighbor Bakehouse.
Rimet’s upbringing, surrounded by local farms and gardens in the small community of Gourgeon, France, inspired him to create the market—as did his homesickness for French grocery shopping culture. The French tend to make smaller shopping trips throughout the week rather than buying in bulk, Rimet explained, and shoppers tend to develop relationships with the people who work in the store.
Rimet wanted to re-create that experience of picking up fresh, local produce from a neighborhood market in San Francisco. The simplicity of Cezanne’s still lifes and his atelier in Aix-en-Provence in addition to Provençal-style farmers’ markets and architecture were also influences.
“I was kind of missing the French way of consuming,” Rimet told The Standard. “I was kind of missing this environment of knowing your local store and just knowing the people inside and buying things from there … just getting the stories as well.”
After a year of construction at 1426 18th St., Rimet is about ready to open up the store. He’ll be on hand for the grand opening on Nov. 12, with free coffee in the morning and giveaways throughout the day.
Like Cezanne himself, who aimed “to astonish Paris with an apple,” Rimet hopes his market can be noted in San Francisco for its devotion to simple, yet radical food values—that is, appreciation for tasty foods and the locals who make it.
1426 18th St.
Grand Opening: Nov. 12, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Christina Campodonico can be reached at [email protected]