Market experience

Cassis Bistro brings the French market experience to Calgary


The popular Cassis Bistro, at the corner of 17th Avenue SW and the Crowchild Trail exit, was recently expanded to include a bike-themed cafe called the Vélo Café.

The bistro was already a popular hub for the city’s cyclists and is home to the cycling team of co-owner Gilles Brassart, a group of around 100 people who meet every Saturday morning to go for a ride.

Co-owners and married couple Gilles, left, and Andrea Brassart, right, have expanded Cassis Bistro to include a cycling-themed cafe called Vélo Café. (Julie Van Rosendaal / CBC)

More recently, they have further enlarged the bistro, transforming the space that was Market 17 into The Little French Market, which brings French specialties, fresh pastries, cheeses, take-out meals prepared at Cassis Bistro, products local and local cuisine. sellers.

They also plan to host pop-up shops with small Calgary businesses.

“We asked a lot of our French friends what they would like to be able to buy in Calgary,” says Andrea Brassart, co-owner and wife of Gilles. “So everything is either French or local.”

A Parisian café in Calgary

At the opening, local accordionist Penny Sanborn added to the romantic French atmosphere as guests perused the cheeses prepared by Peasant Cheese in Kensington, selecting 10 cheeses each week with an emphasis on those from France and the Quebec.

While Sanborn played, customers perused a selection of deli meats, including Empire and VDG salumi, olives and pickles, huge jars of French mustard, and almost size-sized tins of cassoulet and duck confit. of an ottoman.

Accordionist Penny Sanborn performed for clients at the Little French Market. She says there are over 1,000 accordion schools in France and music is often associated with a Parisian cafe. (Julie Van Rosendaal / CBC)

There are French baguettes and rustic breads delivered daily by Sidewalk Citizen, dairy products from Vital Green Farms in Picture Butte, and a selection of high-end frozen items direct from France – including home-made croissants, French fries with duck fat, dauphine potatoes and snails in shells, encased in garlic butter with fine herbs, ready to bake.

The small French market sells high-end frozen produce direct from France and features produce from local producers like Peasant Cheese in Kensington. (Julie Van Rosendaal / CBC)

Wine with your cheese?

Next door, J. Webb Wines has a well-curated wine selection to go with your purchase (you don’t even have to go out for a walk), and if you’re not in the mood for cooking, there’s Cassis Bistro on the other hand.

“In France, I grew up going to markets like this one,” says Gilles. “I am delighted to bring the authentic French market experience here to Calgary.”

Le Petit Marché Français is located at 2505 17 Ave SW.

Visit their website for more information.