Maison N°20, Rue Taison

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House n°20
Mr VIARDOT René, an “épicier” by his trade (the French for “grocer”), practised his art at number 20, rue Taison, in 1809.

The terms “épicerie” (the French for grocery) and “épicier” appeared in

the Middle-Ages, at a time when the shopkeepers were more specialised than nowadays.

The “épicier” used to sell principally spices (“épices” in French, hence the word “épicier”).
The “épiceries” became small shops retailing alimentary products in addition to spices.

Then, the “épicerie” was transformed and the alimentary offer became predominant. It became a small business, also called in French “magasin d'alimentation générale” (general food shop), selling dry, sterilized and fresh alimentary products, and proposing also secondarily a short range of hardware and bazaar products.
The term “épicier” would refer sometimes to the simple candle-makers, sometimes to this intermediary class between the empirics and the doctors, called the apothecaries. It would hardly refer, in the Middle-Ages, to the seller of edible products, as it does in France nowadays.

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