In the heart of Old Montreal, Marché Saint Laurent is a new boutique café offering beautiful Quebec items and souvenirs.
Posted at 11:00
A few meters from the Notre-Dame basilica, in Place d’Armes, when you enter the shop of the Marché Saint Laurent, you are amazed by these objects, so familiar and so new at the same time. Beavers, whales, foxes, caribou and bears made of wood and cardboard attract our attention. There are also “Montréalais.e” t-shirts and cotton sweatshirts, mugs and glasses in the style Vintage ▾neatly packaged maple syrup, “Montreal” tote bags you want to have under your arm or even CDs or vinyl records by Diane Dufresne and Pierre Lapointe.
“It’s a reimagined gift shop offering items made by local designers and artisans. A shop that also reflects the culture of Quebec “, explains Florence Girod, who opened the Saint Laurent market this summer.
“And as the name suggests, it is a market whose products will evolve with the seasons. In the fall, we will especially add hats, gloves, scarves, “he says.
An offer to be reinvented
Florence Girod works at Cossette, one of Quebec’s largest communications and advertising agencies, and her work as a strategist helps her in this new context. You have worked for 15 years with the Alliance de industrie touristique du Québec and know the different clients who come to visit the province. “I’ve seen the tourism industry transform to make Quebec a well-competing international destination with a great supply of experiences, but the souvenir supply hasn’t evolved,” she notes. .
When you go on a trip, there is a universal need to bring something back. And there is no reason why after an extraordinary stay in Quebec, tourists cannot find a place that brings together objects that reflect the culture, the territory and their experience. I told myself we had to create this place!
And what are tourists looking for? “The Europeans are very well, they go along the San Lorenzo, they go to see the whales, they go to the Saguenay, they immerse themselves in nature and they want to bring back things that evoke the territory, the animals, the river. North Americans who come for shorter stays like clothes, designer items, groceries. There are also newcomers who settle here, foreign students, Montrealers who want to give themselves a nice object or take it as a gift to friends. ”
Of French origin, Florence Girod arrived in Quebec in 2002. She believes she has a different perspective. “I always have the perspective of a tourist. I see that animals are a treasure, that maple syrup is so extraordinary, just like the river. This shop is also a way to celebrate my 20 years in Quebec. ”
Florence Girod has created her brand “Marché Saint Laurent” and in particular offers t-shirts, bags, pennants, wooden key rings, posters and magnets with expressions such as “Tire-toi une bûche”, “Partir sur la go” , “Sit your steak.” “Language is a very strong element when you are a visitor to Quebec. Language surprises us, fascinates us, so there are objects that reflect language.”
It also features local artisans and designers. “There’s a lot of creativity, so it’s important to have access to it at a store in the heart of Old Montreal. ”
Objects with a story
One of the peculiarities of the shop is that there are souvenirs Vintage ▾. “I like the idea of being able to buy used items that are part of Quebec’s history, through Expo 67 and the Olympic Games. There have been objects whose design is extraordinary. There are still few of them in flea markets, fly now! ”
And to top off the experience, the shop also offers coffee and pastries.
It will allow us to survive all year round and creates a very pleasant atmosphere, because we meet tourists and people who work in the neighborhood. The coffee is roasted in Montreal and the desserts come from Olivier Potier. We want to build customer loyalty by offering quality.
She leads this project with her husband, Olivier Miotto, co-owner of the Glam hairdresser. “I have experience in brand building and marketing and Olivier is a reseller, we complement each other well. ”
His ambition? Make the Saint Laurent Market an essential destination in Old Montreal, where you can find a concentrate of all forms of Quebec culture.
You bet correctly. We left to buy four glasses Vintage ▾ of Expo 67!