A Slice of Paris in Rumson
The French Market
One of the joys of living in Monmouth County is being able to find specialty stores and little food spaces that cater specifically to being a vegan/vegetarian or (insert your particular here). The choices are plenty and we as a community are so blessed to have so many choices available to us. I discovered The French Market in Rumson over a year ago and have enjoyed going there ever since. It is a neighborhood spot for sure – the owner Carli Windsor energetically greets many of the customers by name. Here is an excerpt of my Q&A with her:
Project Cloud 9 -There are three owners - can you tell me a little about that?
Carli -The original project began with a partnership of 3 owners. As the business progressed it became apparent that there were different visions for the direction in which the project was to go. It also became apparent that the overall philosophies of running the business differed and so in order to remain faithful to my original concept I decided to buyout my other partners and strike out as sole owner.
Project Cloud 9 -With the plethora of eateries and cafes in Monmouth County, how did you come up with the idea to open a French restaurant and market?
Carli -The idea is one that has been evolving in my mind for many years. Never focused so much on the idea of a restaurant or a market specifically but one of creating a space in which someone would feel transported and would leave refreshed, physically and hopefully mentally or spiritually if you would.
It just so happens that the feeling for me comes from a certain longing or yearning I feel when I think of my time in the cafes and antique markets of France or in the Provencal countryside. It is this feeling and experience I want to share with those friends and customers that come to spend some time with us at the Market. It is more of a distillation or snapshot of the lifestyle I would love to be living 24/7, but as many of us can relate to my career and 3 young boys make that a bit difficult.
Project Cloud 9 -What has been the hardest part of opening a restaurant? What has been surprisingly easy?
Carli -The most difficult part has been figuring out all the many moving parts of running even such a small business as ismine, the ordering managing etc. this especially as I have Full-time career as VP of marketing and sales for a cosmetic packaging manufacturer.
Project Cloud 9 -You curate a lot of the merchandise yourself and many of the oils and honey are from special places. Can you tell me a little about how you select your merchandise?
Carli -Using a French-inspired aestheticand my own personal style as a guide, I cull items from my travels but also and importantly local artisans and curators of inspired gifts and art. I also frequent antique shows and the like for my own collection but also to bring one of a kind finds to the Market for sale. In addition to the in-house choices I also offer interior design.
Project Cloud 9 -What is your favorite item that you sell in the store?
Carli -I can not narrow that down to one, but on the food side I love the combo of one of our wonderful triple cream cheeses, homemade fig jam on a warm baguette, accompanied by a wonderful wine possibly finished off with one of our chefs amazing almond croissants,
Project Cloud 9 -What is the best selling item?
Carli -Given the season I would say our "Apple Cider" or "Pumpkin Spice" donuts but our freshly baked croissants, breads, sandwiches and crepes are always a big hit.
Project Cloud 9 -What advice do you give to first time business owners?
Carli -Go for your dream and do your research first. If you are the creative drive behind the vision, be careful to order your business in a way that remains faithful to your original vision. Keep this in mind especially when choosing potential partners and staffing.
Project Cloud 9 -What is the most you are proud of in opening your business?
Carli -I am most proud of the fact that I made my dream, which I have been aspiring to for so long, come to fruition.
Project Cloud 9 -You also do special events in the restaurant ... Can you tell me about that and how people can contact you to plan a special event?
Carli -Our hosted special events have become one of the most popular facets of our business. Set in the beautiful greenhouse/home and garden section of the cafe The French Market hosts private dinners and events for our clients. From serving hors d'oeuvres for upwards of 35 people to an intimate 7 course gourmet sit-down for up to 14, TFM always provides the special atmosphere for any occasion. To inquire about planning booking an event, contact Carli Windsor at 973-747-9415 or through Facebook at The French Market Rumson. During the holiday season, The French Market does catering for small and big events.