Looking for a café likely to change someone’s life? Head to Notre café Marais, in the wonderful Caserne des Minimes, close to the Place des Vosges. There, safe from preying eyes, a very small café awaits, managed by 25 young people aged 12 to 20 and their tutors.
They have a common point. They all live in a medico-educative institution where they take part in social activities fit to their autism spectrum disorder (ASD) associated with mild to severe learning disability. Their future is all planned out, they generally are to spend their lives in specialized facilities… It was without counting on the so-called medico-educative institution director, Laurence Melloul. She wants to give them a chance and after working for 5 years, the creation of an association, facilities lent by the City of Paris, the support from the ARS Ile-de-France, and the Ile-de-France region financing it, she opens Notre Café Marais, a volunteer café deserving respect.
The place is young, colorful, with wooden structures to seat on. A wonderful terrace in the square of the Caserne des Minimes will be fit with shadow for the afternoon. There, in a very beautiful setting, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., from Tuesday to Friday, one can come over and have a cup of coffee, a slice of cake, and fast food, or a glass of wine, for a small price fitting the neighborhood to keep up with local restaurants. Without fuss, this is the very symbol of the place. One comes with friends, with benevolence, for a cup of coffee, enabling a young autistic to find out more about the business world.
Although rates are affordable, young waiters are not paid. Laurence considers this experience as part of their learning process to “enhance their social participation and develop their paraprofessional skills”. But they will get a wage in compliance with each of their passion.
She wanted to remind everyone it could not have been possible with Paris 3rd arrondissement town hall and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo who set up an accessibility plan and a universal conception. The ARS agreed to the opening this Wednesday, Notre Café Marais will come to life starting this Tuesday morning! PS: the patron is no other than fantastic photographer Sabastiaõ Salgado!
So, if you feel like up for coffee in the area, that you have a smile to share, their door is open!
Dates and Opening Time
Starts 22 June 2021
Caserne des minimes
75003 Paris 3