French Memories: Warmth in the South Shore

Delivering Local
By: Janet Kalandranis

Sometimes eating local is about warmth and comfort. Knowing that local shop owners will smile as you enter their door and will forever wish you a good day on your way out. It’s about hearing your name because you are a regular or seeing familiar faces behind the counter. Oh, and coffee and breakfast treats don’t hurt either.

After days without power (oh, Nemo) I was searching for something that provided comfort. Not warmth in temperature but true comfort in feeling connected to where we live. It’s amazing how communities can come together during difficult times and I’m so proud to say I live in the South Shore. I’m also quite happy that I can find a warm cappuccino, a fresh croissant and a comforting smile less than 10 minutes from my house. It’s the little things that become the important things in life.


French Memories in Duxbury is tucked away in the quintessential Snug Harbor locale. And although there are three other locations I’m made to believe that our South Shore location is the most important. Maybe it’s because the little café opens at 5:45am Mon-Sat to adjust to our busy commuting lives or maybe because it’s not uncommon to see our fun-loving Island Creek Oyster friends popping in. Whatever the reason this is my local coffee shop. It’s warm, it’s comforting and I can pretty much go in black leggings and rain boots and never feel out of place.

But let’s talk about the eats, drinks and how it warms my soul. (That sentence is not an overstatement, it’s just the truth.) I lived in Lyon, France for a month a couple years back and it’s one of my most favorite places in the world. Walking into French Memories and taking a sip brings me back every time. The coffee is real – it’s dark and bold. The cappuccinos are frothy and the bakery cases are just heaven. I feel like the description “bakery cases” doesn’t do the visual justice. Instead think of freshly baked French pastries because that’s what you get here. Owned by Phillippe and Debra Odier, this dynamic duo hails from Paris all the way to the little South Shore to give us a taste of something real.


I’m not much of a sweet fan in the morning but croissants, let me clarify – real croissants, are definitely accepted. And French Memories’ are flaky, not too buttery and perfectly light and airy. Some days I feel a little more daring and jump into the almond croissant world – slightly sweeter but oh so perfect when a Tuesday feels more like a Thursday.

And let’s discuss the cookies. French Memories has all kinds like meringues and madeleines and palmiers to try. These frequent my house for special dinners because truthfully who doesn’t love a perfect cookie after a glamorous dinner. But sometimes I go classic, chocolate chip and peanut butter, to be exact. They are homemade; there is no doubt about it. I eat one and it satisfies that craving until the next time I enter French Memories and am greeted by a smile, an amazing aroma and the comfort of home.


French Memories has locations in Duxbury, Sharon, Boston (as Cafe Vanille) and Chestnut Hill (as Cafe Vanille). If you stop by the Duxbury location please tell them Janet says hello and that her eSS blog brought you in.

Janet Kalandranis is lover of all things local, especially food. She is a marketing guru by day and documents her free time about her love of food, family and the South Shore at


About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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2 Responses to French Memories: Warmth in the South Shore

  1. Those of you living on the South Shore are so fortunate, and the fact that you know that and blog about it with such gratitude makes my day brighter. Thank you!

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