St Michel Cookie Store: Where Cookie Lovers Gather

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There is a church, a bar/newsstand, a souvenir store and an ATM. A bit further up the main road there, is a bakery, a pharmacy, a small movie theater and a post office. All these businesses are very quiet, except maybe the bakery around lunchtime—gotta buy a baguette, or two, or three! Their business hours are somewhat erratic and only locals truly master the art of mailing a letter in a timely manner (the post office opens from Tuesday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.), buy Aspirin (the sign on the pharmacy’s main door always claims “back at 4 p.m.!”) and watch a decent movie that isn’t already on DVD. Only the church, presumably, holds a regular Sunday mass… although come to think of it, one priest often manages several town churches so the “Sunday office” could be held on Saturday instead.

This is Saint-Michel-Chef-Chef, a small village like thousands of others in France. Regardless of their population size, some of these towns are just a dot on the map while some are a worthwhile pit stop because they became famous. Évian, for instance, or countless towns where a historical event took place (e.g. Vimy) or where someone famous lived there long enough, like Auvers-sur-Oise with Van Gogh.

Saint-Michel-Chef-Chef is famous for its biscuiterie producing buttery galettes, the original cookie. Now it produces a large range of biscuits sold in supermarkets all over the country and even exported abroad—I can find some of them in Canada.

The thin galette Saint-Michel is always a favourite but you can also buy sablés (buttery cookies made with a crumbly dough), madeleines (spongy palm-size tea cakes), brownies, chocolate-filled crêpes, etc. Common denominators of these yummy treats are butter and sometimes sea salt, and it gives the cookies a pleasant sweet yet lightly salty flavour.

The large and newly revamped “atelier” where you can buy the St Michel brand products plus many related items (metal boxes, bowls, etc.) is always packed. People love cookies, even more so when they are local and cheap. Besides the store, there is a small coffee shop where you can buy a drink and super fancy cakes made with various cookies.

This buttery taste and the retro packaging remind me of my childhood… and boy, do they taste good!

Sign when you enter Saint-Michel

Sign when you enter Saint-Michel

Saint-Michel cookies bag

Saint-Michel cookies bag

Painting of the original store

Painting of the original store

Behind the store's window

Behind the store’s window

Saint-Michel brownies

Saint-Michel brownies

Giant "galette" to share

Giant “galette” to share

Bonne-Maman brand cookies

Bonne-Maman brand cookies

Bonne-Maman crêpes

Bonne-Maman crêpes

Petit-Beurre cookies

Petit-Beurre cookies

Cookie boxes

Cookie boxes

Main street from the store

Main street from the store

Old-fashioned branded bowls

Old-fashioned branded bowls

Giant madeleine to share

Giant madeleine to share

Inside the store

Inside the store

Bonne-Maman brand cookies

Bonne-Maman brand cookies

Mark eating a madeleine

Mark eating a madeleine

Madeleine baking pan

Madeleine baking pan

Madeleine, fresh out of the oven

Madeleine, fresh out of the oven

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Fancy cakes in the coffee shop

Coffee and small cookie

Coffee and small cookie

Coffee and small cookie

Coffee and small cookie

Coffee and small cookie

Coffee and small cookie

Black coffee

Black coffee

In the coffee shop

In the coffee shop

Mark eating the cookies we bought

Mark eating the cookies we bought

Mark eating the cookies we bought

Mark eating the cookies we bought

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

6 Comments

  1. I’m more of a Bonne Maman person than a St Michel one, their receipes are perfectly free of crappy ingredients. It’s not an easy one for industrial cookies!

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