Let’s get the story straight

It’s been pretty funny reading all the approximate facts written by the press about Holybelly. Sarah and I have been Canadians, Brits, Australians, Lise has been the owner, Jesse my wife, we’ve been a chain, Ten Belles little sister and so forth. A lot has been written about us and we’re eternally thankful for it but I thought I’d do us all a favour and put together this Q & A page going over the fundamentals of Holybelly so that never again we’ll be mistaken for a tea salon.

Who owns Holybelly?
Sarah Mouchot and Nico Alary. 50/50. There’s no outside investors.

When did it open?
October 14th 2013.

Is it an American diner?
Definitely not. We love diners but we have no pretensions to be one. If anything Holybelly is really close to a Melbourne style Café in the sense that we specialise in delicious food served from 9am, good coffee and friendly service.

What kind of food is it? Australian? American? French?
It’s hard to define our menu as originating from a specific country. Every month Sarah and Martin get together and establish the menu for the following four weeks depending on what is locally available and in season at the time. One month we can have a very classic French dish on the menu like “Aligot et saucisse de Morteau” and the next a southern Comfort Food classic like “Corn bread and beans”.

Why do you communicate in English when your shop is based in Paris?
English is universal. Everyone speaks it and the ones who don’t can only blame themselves for it. It’s , we travel, we interact and limiting Holybelly’s voice to the border of our tiny country would be a shame. It’s like in “Games of Throne” they’ve got Winterfell, they’ve got South Landing, the Dothraki, the Wildlings and they all have their own wacky language and slang only spoken in specific regions but they also all master the “common tongue” meaning that wherever they happen to get lost, whosever’s throat they end up cutting, they can at least communicate with each other. That is what English is in our day and age, the common tongue. Plus it is incredibly fun to write and speak, get onboard.

Why is your coffee better and more expensive than anywhere else?
There are a few reasons why the coffee tastes good. First we look after the main component of your cup of joe, the water. Ours goes through a reverse-osmosis system calibrated to give us precisely the water we need to make the best coffee possible. Second, we buy the best beans in town from la Brulerie de Belleville. They source in season, high grade beans and then roast them just right. Finally we set the ego aside and use the amazing tools at our disposal to not only be good sometimes but be good all the time. We don’t pull shots manually, only relying on our eyes to decide when a shot is fully extracted, we let the volumetric paddle measure the right amount of water going through the bed of coffee so that your espresso tastes invariably delicious, whether I’m watching it pour or not. It’s called consistency and it matters to us. As far as the price goes, Belleville buys great beans from farmers who work hard to deliver that level of quality so it only make sense they pay the big bucks for it and, as a result so do we, and, as a result, so do you. That being said a double espresso in a no name Brasserie serving filthy Café Richard from a dirty machine on rue Rivoli goes for 6 euros so…

I’ll keep populating this page as we go. If you have any questions you need an answer to shoot us an email at hello@holybel.ly

If you need hi-res photos of the place, the food and the staff here’s a set ready to go with heaps of good looking shot. Simply credit Nico Alary / Holybelly. Click here to download