Café Loustic | WHY MARSEILLE?
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marseille coffee


Why indeed?

I reckon it has the potential to be “Berlin by the sea” (don’t laugh). Large artistic community, large youth population (it is a significant student town), great transport infrastructure, cheapest big city rents in France, and the Côte d’Azur lifestyle (there are beaches in the city centre). It’s certainly a poor town with a lot of cash (I’d like to think it’s our Naples). The French hate it; foreigners love it, it’s picturesque, there are beaches and abundant natural beauty around, plus there are lots of tourists – that spells opportunity.

LOUSTIC is opening a second espresso bar in the south of France, in the centre of Marseille (100 metres from the Vieux Port).

Strangely, there are hardly any coffee shops in France’s second city (some have very recently opened, and other projects are in the pipeline, but the expansion remains a trickle rather than a flood).

Loustic was part of the first wave of espresso bars to open in Paris five years ago, and I have been a barista for eight years. I believe we can bring a certain savoir faire to the city and create a barista community there. Let’s not forget that Marseille was the first ever port of entry for the coffee bean in France back in the 17th century.

The city suffers from problems related to it’s disparity of wealth (drugs, gangs, mafia..) but these problems are largely confined to the northern quarters and have largely dissipated in the city centre. The state played it’s part in renovating the city centre and port area in time for Marseille’s 2013 European City of Culture, and in doing so, created one of the most beautiful architectural masterpieces in the form of the MuCem museum. Now it’s time for the entrepreneurs to step in, and there are a few of us in Paris that are taking advantage of the low entry barriers, friendly locals, the nearby beach, and especially the air of excitement of starting again a new city hungry for change. The Marseillais have been looking at the world through an Instagram filter and want some of what they see happening around the world on their doorsteps.

We are more than ready to meet the challenge.

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