Fool for France


So I was wandering the aisles at Leclerc, the big box store that is destroying my local small town, when I came across these apparently hand – painted, at least hand-colored-in, serving dishes. As is the way with Leclerc,  they were dirt cheap. What is a shopper with a mostly empty cart to do? Of course I bought some.

I hate to think about what some poor guy was paid to actually produce these things. I doubt very much that they are oven,  microwave or dishwasher safe. They weigh a ton. However I think they are pretty. Surely they will last long enough to pay for themselves. Well, probably.

8 Replies to “Leclerc Score”

  1. I had a similar event when we first moved here in 2001. At that time , in Super U, they were selling every size of copper pan for ridiculous money ( equivalent now about 25€ for a big sauteuse with lid). I filled my trolley….I still use them on a day to day basis as do my children:)


    1. Ooh. You did quite a bit better than I and you were smarter about it. I bought just the three pieces and now I wish I had gotten half a dozen small bowls, perfect for condiments, apero snacks and all. Yesterday I stumbled onto a cache of Mauviel pans, stashed in behind acres of tourist tat. Unfortunately they were not on sale. Your sauteuse would have set me back about 10 times what you paid!


  2. I am sure the maker (artist) is grateful for your purchase; allowing him to feed his family.

    Apologies for any typographical errors – sent from a small mobile device.



    1. I wish. My guess is that they were imported from Morocco or somewhere. The designs look North African, I think. Hand painting aside, they are pretty production-line. At, say, 20 euros for the platter, Leclerc paid maybe 10 euros. The importer paid maybe 5 euros. The manufacturer put maybe 2 euros 50 into production, of which I’d guess the lion’s share went into manufacturing the blanks and marketing. So what did the painter earn? Maybe 25 cents? So he makes maybe a dollar an hour? I don’t know the cost of living in Morocco — I’m figuring stuff from the Far East would have been labeled — but 10 euros a day is about 200 a month, figuring 5 days a week and 10 hours a day. I hope his family isn’t a very big one.


  3. Leclerc is an interesting store, as it enables semi-independent companies to operate within it, so sometimes you can find really good stuff in one store that isn’t available anywhere else. Those are very nice bowls – look islamic designs.


    1. Yes. The Leclerc is a mini-mall, really. The others do that, HyperU and Intermarché, but Leclerc does it best. This display was in Leclerc proper, with the other dishes and housewares. If I were the young woman renting space from Lecler for a cookware shop, or maybe the lady with the gift store in town, I think I’d just shut down. No way can they compete. Even Amazon would have a hard time, as the handmade quality is what I found appealing.

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