Shopping

Popelini: Sweet and hip

No other neighborhood is moving quicker than the upper Marais these days. And when a new shop pops up here, flashy and funky like this one, you’ll never know what it will be. So what is Popelini all about? High heels from Italy? Fancy jewellery in a flashy display? No, no, no. All wrong. Popelini is about something sweet, Popelini is for lovers of cream puffs only, the famous French choux à la crème. That’s all you can get here. But you can get it in different colors and a multitude of flavours: black chocolate, café, Madagascar vanilla, lemon, rose-raspberry, salted butter caramel (oh yes!) and and and… Those I tried were all delicious. And every day, there will be another cream puff to seduce you, “selon l’humeur du chef”, depending on the chef's mood.

Forget macaroons

Sounds weird? Yes, but it will work, I’m sure. This tiny Marais venue will be – read my lips – the starting point of a worldwide success. Soon, when people are bored with macaroons and move on to the next hip sweet snack, it will be Popelini's hour and that means: the hour of Lauren Koumetz.

Spoilt for choice

Lauren, 26 years old, French, grew up in the Marais. She was always fond of puff creams (but she doesn’t look at all like this would be her main diet) and she never could decide about the taste… “You must be a Libra”, I said, knowing something about the pain of choice – and we laughed out loud.

Daily prepared by hand

Lauren’s father is the owner of Paulette in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, selling freshly made macaroons. That’s where she met Christophe Michalak, winner of the 2005 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie and chef patissier of Alain Ducasse's Plaza Athenéee who helped her to work out the concept and the recipe. He also introduced her to Alice, her chef, who was working for the famous house Ladurée before and who's now preparing the pâte à choux in the tiny bakery behind the shop. All ingredients necessary for success, I'd say. But what's in the name, Popelini? Well, Lauren thought about the guy who invented the pâte à choux. Guess where? In Italy, in 1540. It’s a long story – that just started here. Popelini 29, rue Debelleyme 75003 Paris Tel: +33 (0)1 44 61 31 44 www.popelini.com Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 am – 7:30 pm
Métro: Filles de Calvaire  
Photos:
Forget the macarons, switch to the Popelini's cream puffs