Nairobi’s range of specialty shops is not surprising considering the range of expats living in the city, but it’s a rare delight when simply stepping inside one lets you leave Kenya behind. Julie Smith, owner of Le Decanter in ABC Plaza, has captured exactly that, transplanting a delightful slice of French life into the bustling Westlands streets.
“I was getting frustrated at not being able to buy good French wine in Kenya,” Julie says, explaining her thought process behind founding Le Decanter three years ago. “It was either bad quality or very, very pricey or just not available, so I decided to import it myself.”
With a lovely atmosphere framed in rich, wooden wine racks and gourmet French products, Le Decanter puts an emphasis on quality and offers a range of wines from small, local vintners in France – products you won’t find anywhere else in Kenya or, in some cases, anywhere else in the world outside of their home country.
“The essence of these products is not to be exported,” Julie says. “It’s just to be a quality product enjoyed in France, and if I want to bring them here they let me bring them here. But it’s not massive export companies that I deal with.”
Aiming to bring Kenya a variety of French wines in terms of tastes and prices, many of Julie’s offerings are also designated Agriculture Biologique, the French equivalent of organic, which extends from the vineyard’s techniques to the lack of fixers added for shipping, creating natural, quality wines.
While Le Decanter focuses on smaller producers, it does work with larger brands boasting the quality to merit inclusion, like Peugeot’s range of spice accessories and Védrenne’s award-winning liqueurs and syrups.
To immerse yourself in Julie’s slice of French culture, visit Le Decanter in ABC Plaza or arrange for a private wine tasting with her. Alternatively, visit Organic Farmer’s Market at Purdy Arms in Karen for the full European experience of buying quality products straight from their vendors while enjoying fresh air and a community feel. Le Decanter will be at OFM this Saturday, June 12, and every first Saturday of the month from 9am to 3pm.
:: This article is original content for Organic Farmer’s Market created by MagicBox