Located in the district of Noailles, Maison Empereur is the oldest hardware store in France having opened its doors in 1827. It has been a real institution for the people of Marseille for almost 190 years. The Maison Empereur may not be the oldest store in town but it is still the oldest general drugstore in France. Inside, in the 1,000 m2 of the establishment, tens of thousands of items are available to the curious. A veritable Ali Baba’s cave. One meets rough masons, housewives in search of the miracle product and one finds there essential objects, those which populate our childhood memories and which one believed lost forever, objects for the professionals, for the fans of original things, and for all budgets.
Laurence Renaux-Empereur is the first woman of the family to head the Maison Empereur. She is of the 7th generation in her family to do so since 1827.
In 2012 she created her own e-shop. She is developing it with the help of Google, she develops it without going from nothing to nothing. Today, there are 1,200 listings on the site of the hardware store against 50,000 in store.
Laurence could have made a museum about the oldest hardware store in France. She preferred a guest house full of souvenirs. Since 2017 the hardware store invites you to put down your suitcases for one night or more. Immerse yourself in the history and intimacy of the 7 generations of the Maison Empereur a stay in Slow Life mode, without Wifi, in the heart of a museum apartment.
But it’s not over yet, the Maison Empereur is adding a new jewel to its crown. A pretty tea room where you can take a reading break between the lampshades and soaps. It is located on the first floor of a new wing as for the guest room, this place which seems to belong to another time is hidden. To find it, you will have to play the same treasure hunt as when you shop among the countless shelves.
Enter the store by the kitchenware section. Climb the stairs between the coffee makers and the cake moulds and then a second, spiral one that will take you to the second floor. There you will taste the Luciani coffee (1863), the hot chocolate of Torréfaction Noailles (1927) and the herbal teas of Père Blaize (1815). To accompany all this, there will be local navette biscuits, a cake of the day and homemade scoops of ice cream.
The little extra: the place will host art exhibitions and conferences, the first of which logically welcomes the Compagnons du Tour de France.
If you are looking for an antique object or a night in a historical setting, do not hesitate to go here: