Le Troisième Café offers a place to enjoy a coffee and meet all kinds of different people. The café is an alternative to the gentrification that has been taken place in the third arrondissement in Paris.
The café has three main aims: it wants to promote diversity, create citizen participation and be mindful about their environmental impact. The café is located in a former coffee shop in the third arrondissement, called “Bistrot du Marais”. The space has been completely renovated, partly with recycled chairs and tables.
Le Troisième Café started because of the real estate pressure in Paris. The third arrondissement has changed, since the middle-income households had to make way for wealthier families. However, this social uniformity lacks diversity, which is why the project is targeting all income groups to make sure this variety is re-established. By keeping the prices of the foods and drinks in the café low, the volunteers of the project hope to establish a diverse culture on a social, cultural and generational level. This diversity creates a warm and friendly setting as well as a sense of community, according to the initiators of the Troisième Café.
The café does not merely offer a place where you can sit down and enjoy your coffee. It is also a place where you can participate in workshops and other activities or attend events, set up by volunteers. The café has in fact just one regular employee, the rest of the team is made up of volunteers. The activities do not merely have the purpose of transferring knowledge from the teacher to the participant, but strives to establish an equal relationship where knowledge can be exchanged and transferred. Everyone is encouraged to participate and share their ideas for upcoming events. You can participate in the project in three ways: by donating money, by becoming a member of the association or by becoming a volunteer.
The café specifically focuses on improving the live of the inhabitants of the third arrondissement, particularly on issues related to the status of women. This is done in the form of participatory debates and the setting up of legal and associative hotlines.
Next to all of this, all of the dishes served in the café are ideas from the volunteers. The recipes are bundled and you can find them online. Adding new recipes and ideas on how to change the menu are always welcome.
The café is aware of the environmental impact it has, which is why it sorts waste and saves energy and water. As well, it makes use of recycles furniture and purchases local materials and foods.
Le Troisième Café offers regular events like cooking workshops and game nights. You can find all the upcoming activities on their website or their facebook page. We will visit Le Troisième Café during our Metropolitan Fieldtrip in Paris.