DÉLICES ÉRABLE & CIE. REPOSITIONING
Citadelle, a cooperative for maple syrup producers, needed to redesign its Montréal flagship boutique in order to align the latter with the new positioning of its Délices Érable & Cie brand. The former interior design was inspired by a traditional sugar shack and the overall look was outdated and withdrawn. Citadelle wished to create a new experience at the junction between an open kitchen bistro-café and a boutique, in order to attract a local and touristic clientele. The best way to achieve this aim was to enhance the appeal of the Saint-Paul Street outlet, located in the touristic heart of the city.
The design team’s first initiative was to open up the space: by knocking the dividing wall down, what was originally a small boutique with a warehouse became a large bistro-boutique. This action cleared the windows at the end of the room, enabling the area to be bathed in natural light. As well, the width of the stairs at the entrance was reduced in order to give more usable square footage. Thus remodelled, the space was now more contemporary and its structural attributes, such as the stone wall, were accentuated.
The colour palette consists predominantly of neutral black and white tones so that the focus is on the products. The use of maple wood, selected for its sturdiness, adds a touch of warmth and a delicate hue. A large quartz counter stands in the back of the boutique; here, people can order coffee or sweets and pay for products. Display space is available on the counter to drive impulse purchases. To get to the inviting open kitchen in the back, customers have no choice but to flow through the boutique and view all the products.
Three different types of display systems, made of maple wood and black metal, occupy the space: two-shelf tables that separate the café (at the right) from the boutique (at the left); tall display units that stand against the white-brick walls; and television screens showing information about maple, honey and cranberry products, with display tables underneath. Pendant copper lamps light the products, creating luminous halos at the human scale. The choice of copper and white marble quartz for secondary materials is reminiscent of French kitchens and bakeries.
All products are baked on-site and visitors are greeted by wafts of fresh coffee, cakes and cookies. A bistro space, with wood tables and black bistro chairs, receives clients to the right of the main entrance. At the back of this section, a large fireplace warms up the boutique on cold winter days. Customers can sit there and unhurriedly savour their food, while reading about the production and transformation of maple products. It is also a tasting area where people can discover new flavours.
Particular emphasis was put on making the boutique integrate into the surrounding urban fabric seamlessly. For the interior, a refined environment was sought, with an uncluttered layout and the use of maple elements that confer a traditional feel. The result: a distinctive space where foodies can make the kinds of gourmet discoveries that embellish their days!