Must Société Moves to Quebec
Following the opening of the first Must Société in Montreal’s Griffintown neighborhood in 2016, the new-style concept store is set to open in Quebec City this spring. Here’s a guided tour of what’s inside. Original, atypical and innovative are all adjectives that come to mind when describing this everything-for-your-homeand-then-some space, which houses furniture and accessories by Must, the accessibly priced consumer brand from the makers of Maison Corbeil, along with a restaurant, flower shop, tech retailer Fillion Électronique and furnishings by Trica and Jardin de Ville.
“The idea was to create a new shopping experience and adapt it to the clientele and the place,” explains Éric Corbeil, co-president of Maison Corbeil. Both the store itself and the shops inside change based on their location. Cases in point: while Montreal’s Must Société has a somewhat urban and industrial look inspired by its Griffintown neighborhood, the Quebec City location, situated on Laurier Boulevard across from Laurier Quebec and Place Ste-Foy shopping centres, features a more contemporary style, with three distinct atmospheres.
3 floors, 3 atmospheres
Our tour begins on the ground floor, where modern white decor is complemented by mixed-metal structures, a concrete floor, marble countertops, black-bamboo fixtures and gilded accents. It was designed by Louis Gagnon, creative director of the Paprika agency, who designs both Maison Corbeil’s boutiques and catalogs. Nearby, behind a glass partition, is Chez Boulay – Comptoir Boréal. “In collaboration with Isabelle Cyr, interior designer at Cyr Cathcart agency, we wanted to give it a distinct visual identity while harmonizing it with the rest of the decor.
Room with a view
As you reach the top of the escalator, you’ll notice a drastic change in decor. Under the lower-set ceilings of the second floor, the atmosphere is intimate and cozy. There’s European oak herringbone underfoot, and on the walls, only white and large windows that let in plenty of daylight. The Must bedroom space offers classic, foldaway and sofa beds, plus mattresses, pillows, comforters, sheets, pillowcases, throws and even candles — another Must Société exclusive. During the summer season, customers can also browse the second-level terrace, featuring Jardin de Ville’s outdoor furniture on display. To enhance your shopping experience, the store’s brands will be hosting various workshops on the terrace as well.
A sculptural, golden-metal chandelier sets the tone as you ride the escalator to the third floor. A mix of black and gray, polished concrete flooring, and a walnut ceiling and walls serve as the backdrop for the Trica collection. It’s worth noting that this is the first time all the furniture from this Quebec manufacturer will be available in one place. “We worked with the colors of Trica to create a very architectural space, very modern, with translucent partitions that give a beautiful effect of transparency, and a lot of daylight. The goal was to bring out the beauty of the furniture,” says Paprika’s Louis Gagnon.
Must Société opens on May 12 at 2785 Laurier Boulevard. The store is conveniently located in the heart of Quebec City’s new city centre, with an adjoining parking lot.
Chez Boulay — Comptoir Boréal
Have you ever heard of dune pepper? How about sweet-clover flower? If the answer is no, just ask while you’re at the counter. “My desire is to continue to discover the flavors of Quebec’s terroir, while serving the absolute best,” says Arnaud Marchand, head chef at Chez Boulay’s two establishments, Boréal Bistro on Saint-Jean Street, and Comptoir Boréal in Old Quebec. This is where you can try Marchand’s star creations, including squash-and-balsam quiche, smoked-meat quiche and sea-buckthorn-meringue tart. To satisfy classic-pastry lovers, the chef has also developed “North Vs. South” tasting duos: think lemon tart and sea-buckthorn tart (same acidity), chocolate éclair and maple-anddune-pepper éclair, or vanilla puff and puff of sweet-clover flower (same sweetness). “Unsweetened desserts, which burst in your mouth thanks to the accuracy of flavours and cooking,” and prepared right in front of your eyes. The expansion of your taste buds continues in L’Épicerie Boréale, which offers the likes of seaweed from Gaspésie, cranberry-seed oil and blackcurrant vinegar in small containers, “so that customers can try them at home” and in the culinary workshops organized by the chef. Since Arnaud and his team reinvent local delicacies as the seasons change, you’re sure to have plenty of reasons to keep coming back!