Day by Day is a french bulk grocery chain (réseau français d’épicerie en vrac). Luckily one of the three in Paris is in our neighborhood and quite near. I wandered in the other day at first thinking it was another organic store (there is one almost on every block) and was extremely pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t.
Its raison d’etre – if you will – : ) – seems to be the environment. As opposed to other bulk food chains I have been to (in Canada and the US), there no large rolls of plastic bags for your purchases. Instead, they have either jars and bottles (mostly glass) for sale or used jars that have been dropped off by customers and washed and prepared by the store for use. Of course, you can bring your own container and weigh it at the weighing station before filling it with your purchase.
They have cooking oils, vinegars, nuts, spices, flours, grains, beans, liquid and hard soaps, and a selection of sweets. Its a very reasonable selection and in addition to trying to cutting down on packaging they try to source responsibly.
My one purchase was sesame oil. It was exactly what I needed for a Chinese dish I was going to make for dinner and it saved me a) searching stores for the ingredient, b) buying a larger amount than I needed, and hopefully c) being fresher than I would otherwise find in our local french grocery store (which doesn’t have much in the way of ethnic ingredients, nor probably demand for them).
I’m excited to try their soaps next. They carry the Marius Fabre brand of Savon de Marseille (one of the few locations in Paris). And going forward, I plan on buying all of my soaps and cleaning supplies there. Unfortunately, their supply of spices is quite limited, but for that I could visit the spice shop in the Galleries Lafayette (see photo!).