So British Store

When Sam and Danielle Robins moved to Conflans (78) in March 2010, they were in search of a less stressful and more flexible lifestyle. Sam had spent over 20 years working for the Immigration Service in the UK and wanted to do something completely different. Danielle works for a global estate agency, so when the chance came to transfer to the Paris office, the couple decided to seize the opportunity. Sam explains why, “Danielle’s grandmother is French and as a result, she’d spent many childhood holidays in France. I love the country too and we initially thought about opening a gite in the Languedoc region. When we eventually ended up in the 78, I needed to find work and did a variety of things. Painting, decorating, gardening - you name it and I’ve done it. I even spent six months dropping supermarket catalogues through doors, which was utterly soul destroying as you don’t need a single brain cell!

We soon realised that there would be a huge market for imported British goods. There was nothing available in the local supermarkets and the British and international communities in our area were crying out for those ‘taste of home’ type products that can make all the difference when you are feeling a bit homesick or just need cheering up!”

So British Store was launched in November last year and began life as a stall on the local Sunday market. Their local expat population isn’t especially large but the couple knew that there was a potentially huge audience for their British products and so, very sensibly decided to head further afield. They now cover specialist and regular markets in Yvelines and Picardie: the locations are usually posted on the Facebook page and are also currently in negotiation for a pitch at the highly sought after Saint Germain en Laye market.

Needless to say, all of this required endless paperwork and this alone, combined with the recent creation of the So British Store website and a house purchase, has kept them very busy! Luckily as Sam explains, “We are ‘yes’ people, which is kind of why we ended up in France. If someone asks us whether we can do something or get something for them, we will always give it a try.”

This approach really stands out when you look at the website. There’s a Suggest a Product page and no minimum order size. There’s a great range of all those kind of things that you suddenly get an odd craving for, from curry paste to piccalilli and they even stock malt vinegar - my personal addiction and something I haven’t been able to find anywhere in France. And for those of us whose kids have grown up almost entirely in France, it’s nice to be able to introduce them to things like traditional British jelly!! They also have some lovely British tea sets which make great presents.

But where the So British Store really stands out from the crowd, is its selection of homeware and gifts. They have a lovely selection of typically British mugs and stock a wide range of Union Jack themed products, all of which would make great gifts for French friends and neighbours. I especially like the ‘Keep calm and blame the Euro’ mug and am also lusting after the Cherry Bakewell cake tin. Their selection of tea canisters and cake tins is really nice and is absolutely perfect if you are feeling a bit nostalgic! From ‘black cab’ key rings to Union Jack biros and brollies, this site has the lot.

It’s fun, it’s kitsch, it’s reasonably priced and most of all, it cheers up a miserable grey day. And given the weather we’ve had so far this year, I think we need all the cheering up we can get!

SFN Sponsored post

We use this one: We find prices comparable with the prices on the supermarket site and excellent rates on delivery.

Kerry. We use Blighty shop all the time now. I order on the internet from Tesco, Sainsburys or Asda. Have it dlivered to Blighty Shop's depot and they deliver the next day. That way I can benefit from all the BOGOF and 3 for 2 offers. It is brilliant for the vegetarian foods I just cannot get in France.

If you are in the Riberac area, may I plug Wendy Wynne's stall in the Friday market and her shop in Tocane St. Apre.

Thanks everyone for all the product suggestions and we are delighted to say that we have been able to add the great majority of them to the site.

In addition, we will be at a live event in our new home town of Trie-Château (60590) on 13th October 2013. This should be a great day out in the fascinating Vexin area for all the family. We will be trialling our new range of British ales and beers for the first time in the run up to Christmas which will culminate at the Marché Artisanale et du Terroir at Chennevieres (78) from 13th to 15th December. This is a big event with 120 stands and thousands of visitors every year.

In the meantime, this husband and wife team are here to respond personally to your every request via the site and we are ready to send all your craved for items across the country.

All the best, Danielle and Sam

Graham, I have just looked at the price list for and they are also very reasonably priced and have a good range.

We found Claranne's Pantry in the Vendee, whilst we were working there. They are a godsend as they actually stock Quorn products for us vegetarians. They are also reasonably priced and will get anything for you if you want.

I would also like to put in a plug for Sue Atkins who runs Anglo Marche and can be found at the following locations:-

Monday - Mirande

Tuesday - Fleurance

Wednesday - Marciac

Friday - Vic Fezensac

and has many satisfied customers.

Can I also put in a plug for English Fayre? They have been in business for several years now and carry a huge range of Brit products. I have no connection (other than as a satisfied customer!!). Their website is at