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Paris Neighborhood Stores Thrive

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Paris Neighborhood Stores Thrive

World

Paris Neighborhood Stores Thrive

Paris Neighborhood Stores Thrive

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Dominique Bignon is a butcher at Le Cochon Rose, a shop specializing in pork. Le Cochon Rose has stood on the same busy Parisian street since 1905. Eleanor Beardsley, NPR hide caption

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Eleanor Beardsley, NPR

Dominique Bignon is a butcher at Le Cochon Rose, a shop specializing in pork. Le Cochon Rose has stood on the same busy Parisian street since 1905.

Eleanor Beardsley, NPR

Paris has a thriving culture of small businesses — and not by chance.

"One of the main goals of the city of Paris is to keep the huge supermarkets out because they are the main competition for small businesses," says Patrice Vermelleine, who is in charge of economic development for the city.

There are butchers, cheese shops, florists, bakeries and cafes all doing a brisk business on the same street. The arrival of larger, wholesale stores would threaten the continued existence of these smaller, specialty shops.

These small neighborhood stores play an integral role in Parisian life. Shopkeepers and residents say it is the variety of businesses that gives the city a village feel, and for that, they are willing to pay a little extra.