The European Market
931 Massachusetts St.
Lawrence, KS 66044
Wednesday: 10am - 6pm
Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: noon - 5pm
Hello! I’m Lora Wiley. I’m the Managing Owner of Au Marché the European Market. Au Marché means “at the market” in French and is pronounced “oh-mar-shay”. In addition to our easy-to-use on-line web site, you’ll find our charming little store in beautiful Downtown Lawrence, KS. We sell foods, soaps and kitchen-y gifts from all over Europe. So, why the French name?
I have degrees in French and Art History from the University of Kansas. During my junior year I had the fantastic, super-fun, life-changing opportunity to study abroad in Besançon, France. It was during this 1993 – 1994 academic year that I learned something about myself – I was (and still am!) fascinated with the Everyday. In particular I loved going to grocery stores and pouring over everything in the aisles, seeing what French people bought on a daily basis, what brands of food French people ate, how things were packaged, etc. To me it was thrilling to buy and look at all of the different cookies, chocolates, bottled waters, pastas, mustards, salad dressings, etc…. all items I used in America, of course, but in France they were different!
Toward the end of my year in Besançon I visited my friend Denise who was also studying abroad, in Aix-en-Provence. She took me to a little store – I’ve long forgotten its name, sadly – and it is fair to say walking into that store changed my life. It was a small market selling French & British foods, but also goodies like Skittles, Oreos and Snapple. Seeing those items made my heart sing! They put pep in my step! I felt such happiness seeing those American brands that seemed so, well, American! I realized that, wow, homesickness was hitting me hard and the sentimental draw to Oreos was strong!
And thus, the seed was planted. Over time I thought and thought about opening a similar store, but of the reverse fashion: Everyday European products for sale in America. I figured that European people living in America might feel the same happiness that I had felt that day, if they could walk into a little store in the United States selling their favorite foods from their home country. And as they say, the rest is history.
Au Marché opened in 1998. In the beginning it was just me and then a few months later it was just me and my first employee, an extremely charming college-aged guy by the name of Chris. He worked Sundays so that I could have a little time off. And now, fast forward almost 20 years, there are 9 of us keeping the shelves stocked, getting to know our customers better and better with every visit, and creating a welcoming atmosphere for all who come in. Currently, we are an all-woman team. Read on to meet the women of Au Marché… we are a food-loving, travel-loving group of ladies who span the timeline of life from high school students to moms with grown children.
Now that you know about us, we’d love to meet you, too! Please come by for a visit or send us some feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you so much for your interest in Au Marché. We hope to meet you soon.