Fondation cafe is challenging the way Parisians think of cafes in Paris. (Illustration: Kemi Mai; Photos: William Lounsbury)
Strolling up the Rue Dupetit Thouars in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement on a freezing day at the end of February, Fondation Cafe appears like a beacon of light and hope, its white-painted frame standing out against the somber tones of the street and its glass facade offering a preview of warmth and comfort within. Granny smith-green cups sit in stacks atop the espresso machine. Potted plants are tucked between bags of locally roasted coffee on simple shelves. Large copper tiles cover the wall behind the counter, bathing the interior in a soft, reflected light.