Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Paris Gets Sausages and Steaks 24/7 from Vending Machine

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Paris Gets Sausages and Steaks 24/7 from Vending Machine

Article excerpt

PARIS - With their beloved baguette already available 24 hours a day, it seems only logical that Parisians can now get the Bayonne ham and Basque pate that goes so well with the bread from the first meat vending machine installed in the French capital. In a city filled with small shops where long lunches remain a crucial part of the French "art de vivre, the gleaming red machine set up on the lively Rue de Charonne in eastern Paris seems a bit incongruous.

The area has at least two dozen butcher's shops and no shortage of meat, but that didn't deter the owners of one of those shops, Florence and Michel Pouzol of "L'ami Txulette, from investing $45,000 to set up their project, selling vacuum-packed meat from the refrigerated machine.

"We're closed two days: Sundays and Mondays, Florence Pouzol told The Associated Press. "So this is to cater for customers over the weekend. ...The idea was also to serve people after the shop's closing hours. We close at 8 p.m. but some people leave work very late and find the shop closed when they walk past it.

L'ami Txulette specializes in products from the Basque Country. From their machine, which takes cash or credit cards, customers can also get a large choice of traditional delicatessen including duck confit and beef carpaccio. There are also faux-filet steaks on display, priced at 34 euros per kilogram. On average, the products are 20 euro cents more expensive than those sold inside the shop.

A majority of shops remain closed on Sundays in France, but the Pouzols are confident that France is changing fast and so are their customers' habits.

"Our customers are young. There are also quite a few bars and restaurants along the boulevard, Florence Pouzol said. "When we see them during the day, they tell us: "Last night, I bought this, or that, and it was really helpful. We also have those who work in the cafes and restaurants and who come off work at 2 a. …

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