Paris Mosaic: meet artisan cheesemakers Henry and Paulette Voy of La Ferme Saint Hubert
There is so much more to Paris than its famous monuments. In fact, one of the things we at MyFrenchLife™ love most about the City of Light are the beautiful artisan businesses that line the city’s streets.
In our view these small businesses and the passionate people behind them are exactly what give Paris its magic and unique charm: les fleuristes, boulangeries, patîsseries, fromageries, et bien sûr, les chocolateries.
Enchanted by their beautiful displays and inspired by their talent and dedication, we’ve brought together the Paris Mosaic series, where we introduce you to the faces behind these Parisian gems.
La Ferme Saint Hubert
Address: 36 rue Rochechouart, 75009 Paris
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9.00am-8.30pm
Cheese is the péché mignon of the French, and the thing they do best. If it’s fromage you’re searching for while in Paris, then look no further than La Ferme Saint Hubert.
Situated at 36 Rue Rochechouart in the 9th arrondissement, the cheese shop is run by Henry and Paulette Voy, who grew up in the Poitou-Charentes region, one of the oldest goat-rearing regions in France. “Our first mouthful of food was goat’s cheese”, Henry says.
Paulette and Henry are fromagers-affineurs, which means they buy their cheese from the best producers and age it to perfection before selling it in their shop. Their fromagerie’s shelves are stocked with four types of Comté (some aged 18 months and others 35), creamy brie and perfect circles of Charolais, complete with soft duvet of mould, which Paulette has named the “king of goat cheeses”.
La Ferme Saint Hubert has been described as one of the best cheese mongers of French and European cheese – and this is no doubt largely due to Paulette and Henry’s passion and commitment to quality and taste. The shop doesn’t close until 8:30pm, ensuring that the pantries of Paris are sufficiently stocked for the evening cheese course.
Selling over 150 types of cheese, and the best charcuterie from Italy and Spain, the shop is a feast for the eyes. Baskets of peppery saucisson, barrels of red wine, chunks of yellow cheddar and whole serrano hams delicately sliced and wrapped in paper are only a fragment of what this place has to offer.
We talked to Paulette and Henry about their love for cheese and the story behind their fromagerie.
What made you choose this profession and how was it made a reality?
We were born in the small town of Airvault in the Poitou-Charentes region, where goat’s cheese smelled good. It is one of the biggest goat-rearing and cheese producing regions in France which is what led us to a career in refining cheese and to create a new cheese called ‘Le Pavé d’Airvault’.
Our passion for cheese, its aroma and flavour gave us the idea of moving to Paris and opening a cheese shop named La Ferme Saint Hubert de Paris. We set up shop at 36 rue de Rochechouart in the 9th arrondissement after spending 15 years at 21 rue Vignon in the 8th arrondissement, and opened a cheese restaurant at the back of our boutique.
Our passion for cheese, its aroma and flavour gave us the idea of moving to Paris and opening a cheese shop named La Ferme Saint Hubert de Paris.
We are passionate about this profession, about the expertise involved in the job, searching for the best flavours, always seeking the best produce and introducing cheeses to clients who appreciate us.
What’s your favourite moment of your workday?
Our favourite moment is when we tend to the cheeses, watch over them, turn them, taste them, sort them by taste and prepare them for sale to clients who not only come to our cheese shop for our products but also to meet us and listen to us tell the story of each cheese.
What is the main element that contributed to our success?
Our love for the trade, the human contact, the discovery of new produce, the stories about our search for new cheese and the fact that our shop offers 150 kinds of cheese, each with a different taste from the last.
Do you have a story to share on the social aspect of your work (an endearing client, a particular work…)
Yes, happy anecdotes, sometimes painful from our lives as people of the countryside. We have a lot of personal contact with clients and memories that linger.
What creation are you the most proud of?
We are most proud of having been officially recognised as master cheese refiners* [MoF].
In your opinion, which cheese has the strongest odour?
Refined cow’s cheese Maroilles and Munster fermier.
Where do you buy your baguette (or your favourite bread?)
We get our traditional baguette or pain de campagne à l’ancienne from a bakery in the 9th.
And to close here is a short video (en francais) where on the La Ferme Saint Hubert website, Paulette and Henry speak of their passion and introduce us to many of their children: the cheeses.
Do you love cheese? What is your favourite kind of cheese? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Introduction // Le Furet Tanrade // Thalie // La Petite Chocolatière // FJ Fleuriste // Boulangerie Bruno Solques // Rêve // Fromagerie Goncourt // Au-delà des Prés // Boulangerie des Artistes // Les Fleurs d’Aline
*Chaque année le concours de Meilleur Ouvrier de France « MOF » met à l’honneur les As de la profession. Image credits:
1, 3, 4, 5 © Stephanie Williamson
2 courtesy of La Ferme Saint Hubert de Paris
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