Our Town: Shop Local: Des Livres et Délices

Madeline Gray

When Laurence and Phillippe Kneuss were living in the hustle and bustle of Paris in the ’90s, they would have never imagined they’d end up in Raleigh decades later, they say. The couple moved to the states after raising their three children in Paris and Burgundy, France. “Once our children were grown and creating their own lives, we decided it was time for a change for us, too. And from our very first visit last year, we felt at home in Raleigh,” says Laurence Kneuss.

Now, they’re bringing pieces of their old home to their new one at their book shop and gourmet market in Five Points, Des Livres et Délices. “I’m an avid reader and have always dreamed of owning and operating a bookstore. It was a natural next step to combine the bookstore idea with Philippe’s interests in wine and gastronomy.”

The store is a francophile’s delight: imported French goods, from bottles of Bordeaux and accompanying camembert cheese to ground mustards and honeys, line the shelves. Walk through to the library, and you’ll find rows of books. The majority are in French, and those written in English sport a tiny American flag bookmark.

Madeline Gray

The couple also hosts events at their specialty shop, most recently a cider tasting with galette des rois (a French puff pastry). A book club for varying levels of French speakers is in the works this month. Laurence Kneuss says she hopes the place serves a little slice of France – a bit of joie de vivre – to the Raleigh community. “We plan to offer many events, combining the bookstore and the gourmet grocery store, inspired by similar activities in France.”Catherine Currin

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