We’re in the era of the Shoppy Shop, as New York Magazine writer Emily Sundberg so deftly defined it in a story last week. In case you missed it, shoppy shops are those small stores, or coffee shops even, that tend to carry the same list of newish, artisanal-seeming products. Products that perhaps existed first on the internet, available to buy from their own splashy sites, products that you have likely read about in this newsletter.
The reasons for the ubiquity of brands like Graza, Brightland, and Diaspora Co. can be attributed to a deliberate marketing strategy, facilitated in part by online marketplace Faire. And while the fact of these things being everywhere doesn’t mean they’re any less good, it does make you wonder what one should do to actually shop local goods, or at least capture some feeling of tactile, as opposed to internet, discovery.
Deleting Instagram would help with the latter, I’m sure. But this was also something I was thinking a lot about while on vacation last week and shopping around Paris. It is not a place completely immune to the shoppy shop, at least in the sense that few inventories can be totally unique or even exclusive to that city. But at least in a different environment, even things I saw at multiple stores were new to me, and seeing a particular tin of candy or children’s toy over and over again, rather than being tiresome, gave me a new opportunity to consider whether or not to buy a thing. Plus, these days, I’m mostly just appreciative of being able to go to stores that carry things I want at all.
Here, some food-related items I spotted while I was out that I think you might enjoy too.