As big brands continue to take over the streets of Paris, rue des Martyrs is putting up fierce resistance to this one-size-fits-all retail environment. The neighbourhood’s backbone, the street is lined with purveyors of fine foods, including Collection T, the most recent addition to this family of gourmet stores that has proved to be extremely popular with local foodies. When Cholé Vasseur was looking to open her store devoted to fine quality teas with her parents, she knew this was where she wanted to be. The area holds a special place in her heart; it has been the home of her godmother for over 30 years, and she has walked up its gentle slope since she was a child. “What’s really different about this street is its incredible range of mono-product stores selling everything from preserves and madeleines to olive oil and choux pastries, which very much reflect our own identity. But it’s really the independent storekeepers who make the street what it is and they’re in tune with the needs of a clientele who are looking for quality, independent niche brands and demanding selections, rather than big names,” explains Chloé. Collection T immediately recognised this independent, specialised spirit in Le Pigalle. “Their desire to form part of the local neighbourhood and its history, which we share, and their idea of evolving in a way that was the opposite of standardisation, and placing their trust in little-known talent, was something that appealed to us a lot.” It was natural, then, that Le Pigalle chose the Vasseur family as the suppliers of its selection of fine teas from China, India and Japan.