At the Bonjour Perth French Festival held in the Market Square gardens in Subiaco this month, Jeanne d’Moore shop and cafe owner Marie Williamson is busy explaining to customers how to find the town of Moora.
The unique range of products she imports from all over the world, including Sid Dickens tiles and newly arrived fashion label Magnolia Pearl, have caused a flurry of interest at the upmarket festival and customers keen to visit her shop are a little surprised to find that it is situated in a country town 2 hours drive away. “It’s our second time here at the festival and the response has been wonderful,” says Marie, “the organisers initially saw us at Dowerin field day and begged us to be a part of the festival. ”
Marie, who started the shop three and a half years ago now has a growing customer base who specifically come to Moora to visit her shop – along with the lucky locals who frequent the Gardiner St premises not just for shopping but for fabulous food and great coffee. With a background as a florist, Marie had been running a wholesale business from home since her and husband Craig moved ‘back’ to Moora 16 years ago. (Craig grew up there). She fell in love with the Danish Jean d’Arc living magazine, using the style as the inspiration for her product range which has a particular french flavour.
She started importing the products and the Jeanne d’Moore shop was born, starting out in a large warehouse next to the Moora IGA. With a beautiful range of french-inspired clothing, furniture and gift-ware the shop drew customers from all over the region. At the same time she began delving into the traditional recipes from the south of France; Provence, the Alpes and Côte d’Azur. Together with photographer friend Ada Barnett she created a blog – just for fun – recreating the food with a modern twist and publishing the recipes, complete with gorgeous photographs
by Ada on ‘French Fridays’.
“Ada had I had tremendous fun playing with the recipes,” she says, “the blog started out as a hobby, but as it happened, it tied it perfectly when we started the food in the shop.” Last year Marie had the opportunity to move the shop to the east side of town, where the historic shop fronts, complete with original pressed tin ceilings and fireplaces are slowly being reinvigorated with new businesses like Marie’s and Joley Holliday’s pilates studio next door.
Now a bustling cafe as well as an ever expanding shop, Jeanne d’Moore has become a local hub for coffee catch-ups and long lunches and provides catering options as well as group functions. With its unique french twist, Marie’s food is a little bit special and customers are satisfied.
“The food is simple, but we only use the best of everything. The best cream, the best local eggs (Manavi) and the best pastry. The bread is flown in from Paris – they just use different flours over there – you can’t quite recreate it here,” she says. Her signature crepe stacks (now with a gluten free option) and delicious quiches are lunchtime favourites along with decadent treats like mini salted caramel donuts, chocolate ganache tarts and gelati ice creams if you’re in the mood.
Next month Marie will launch an ‘artist in residence’ program where she will feature the work of selected artists on the shop walls each month, starting with local painter Nyree Jayne Taylor. Chalk paint and jewellery workshops are other arty attractions to keep visitors both local and from farther afield flowing. If you’re aiming to shop local this Christmas, Jeanne d’Moore must be on the list to stop in for a few gifts and a spot of lunch.
Luckily for us in the Northern Valleys Region, Moora is just up the road!