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En Route: Marché Maman

STORY BY + VIDEO EDITING RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – LEARN MORE ABOUT MAMANPHOTOS + FILM FOOTAGE BY BRIDGET BADORE FOR THE STYLE LINE

“When we first opened up, not only was it an inspiring

project for us to play with our creativity but we want to create a space that feeds and inspires the creativity of others,” says Maman co-founder Elisa Marshall. “Whether it’s a place to grab a coffee and work in your sketchbook or grab a great meal over an inspiring conversation with an old friend. At Marché Maman we create community by highlighting one another’s creativity.”

Built upon the idea of community and driven by thoughtful curation, we’ve loved following Maman’s journey since our initial story with Elisa and her collaborator Candice Kaye, which documented the cafe’s New York City debut nearly two and a half years ago. Since then (and unsurprisingly), Elisa and her team have cultivated a global presence with five incredible locations across the United States and Canada. From the perfectly French aesthetic to the cafe’s dynamic menu items, there’s no shortage of inspiration to be found when experiencing a meal at (and in many ways, with) Maman. Today we’re thrilled to highlight the brand’s incredible growth by introducing their newest concept, a lifestyle market aptly named Marché Maman.

Conjoined with Maman’s Centre Street location, in many ways, this new shop mirrors the cafe experience with its feminine aesthetic and inviting ambiance – though for Elisa it’s about taking things one step further. “When curating the space (a part from all the things I love) I really wanted the space to have a home-like feel and to convey all the various rooms of a house,” Elisa explained in our interview below. Having launched with an impressive roster of brands (including an additional ice-cream inspired room/area!), there’s truly something for everyone who may be looking to fill their home with prized possessions, which are both made and curated with love.

We were honored to have the opportunity to document Marché Maman’s early days and catch up with Elisa in the process. Without giving too much away, discover what’s changed for Elisa since our first story, find out what’s in store for the brand, and take a virtual tour of the space featuring exclusive photos (and footage!) captured by Bridget Badore for The Style Line.

Wow I feel like it has been

five years since our first chat, yet it also feels like just yesterday Candice and I were together super excited about our first interview and photo-shoot for Maman! So (as a refresher) I am Elisa Marshall (Maman co-owner along side my amazing partner in life and business Ben) creative director, event manager, designer, baker, cook, server, barista, dishwasher and delivery girl!).

I have definitely grown a lot, personally and business-wise now having five Maman locations (Soho, Tribeca, Meatpacking District, Greenpoint, and Toronto), and a new baby/concept  Marché Maman, and one very fun international restaurant project at The Tropical Hotel in St, Barths!

Community has always been core to Maman’s ethos. What about Maman Marche supports this idea and what do you think it will contribute to the neighborhood?

Community is everything to us and we really owe our success and growth to our surrounding community – family, friends, our staff, and customers.

I think Marché Maman and our concept really defines community and we wanted to bring that world and concept to life with our new location. Our ethos here is to bring together like-minded, amazing brands and people who all share the same customer and clientele. We created a space that allows small businesses to flourish in a like-minded high traffic environment, and at the same time, created a dynamic multi-sensory space for our customers, combining food, florals, ice cream, fragrance, kids items, and home decor. What girl doesn’t love those things!?

What we love about Maman is that while you guys are a small (but amazing!) business, so much of your work really support other small businesses. Would you agree? With that in mind, tell us about the first rotation of vendors and why you think they add to the experience.

We have had so much great success (and fun) in reaching out to our community and doing collaborations and events with different brands, from calligraphy workshops with Sam Tiech, fashion collaborations with agnès b. to food partnerships with Erin Mckenna’s Bakery, we love working with like-minded brands and people and wanted to further expand on this with Marché Maman.
Selfishly, I like to think I put together all my favorite things and people under one roof, but I know many others agree! I think every vendor adds a unique and creative element to the space while still having a similar aesthetic, making it seem like one unified store as opposed to a vendor driven marketplace. When curating the space (a part from all the things I love) I really wanted the space to have a home-like feel and to convey all the various rooms of a house –  For the garden, we worked with Flower Girl, Bastide provides all the natural fragrance, soaps, and body products for our boudoir or restroom, Merci Bisous brings to life my dream nursery with the most adorable products and clothing for kids, Jamini adds beautiful prints and textiles to the living room, we at Maman curate vintage pieces and flatware for the dining section, the backyard is outfitted with West Elm’s beautiful collection and furniture, the home inspired kitchen is full of Maman’s delicious dishes and beverages with rotating guest chefs and cookbook authors and of course there is ice cream from Milkmade – not a room in everyone’s home but defiantly a dream room in mine!

How would you say your personal style has evolved in terms of your wardrobe, your work style, and your lifestyle since our initial chat?

I think it has got much more relaxed, we are so busy these days running around, working, cooking and cleaning, by nature (and unfortunately by my busy schedule) I don’t have the opportunity to dress up like I used to as much anymore! I now keep a small wardrobe in my office, as my days can move from baking a cake to staining the deck to important client meetings, so I need to be able to be versatile and creative – like wear a blazer to cover up the paint stains on your tank-top for your client’s event venue visit, or throw on a beautiful scarf when you are in service to hide the coffee you spilled on yourself you chugged down too quickly at 6 AM!

How would you characterize the personal style of Marche Maman dwellers and being based in Soho what role do you think fashion will play in this aspect of Maman’s experience?

I love fashion – it is the industry I started out in and always holds an important place in my heart! I love to integrate it how/when I can with Maman and we are very fortunate to get to do so! We cater and work lot of different fashion press previews, host many exciting line launches, and do some amazing collaborations with various brands. It is an integral part of our brand.
I think Marché Maman attracts people who love beautiful things – from fashion to home, to food and event pretty coffee cups, attention to details and curating all things beautifully, naturally attract a like-minded clientele. Especially being in Soho, I feel there is a higher concentration of those who appreciate this. We want to create an environment where everything you see, touch, smell, and taste is memorable, beautiful, and of course delicious!

How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and what role is Marche Maman playing in this shift?

When we first opened up, not only was it an inspiring project for us to play with our creativity but we want to create a space that feeds and inspires the creativity of others. Whether it’s a place to grab a coffee and work in your sketchbook or grab a great meal over an inspiring conversation with an old friend. At Marché Maman we create community by highlighting one another’s creativity. We have brought together like-minded creative entrepreneurs, brands, and chefs to combine their passions and create something beautiful and delicious all under one roof to share with our customers.

How would you advise the next generation of entrepreneurs or shop-bosses to leave an imprint in the world, simply by doing what they love?

My favorite quote, my advice, and I think what I live by and is my inspiration behind all we do at Maman since the start: “Create the things you wish existed.” We are just getting started!