Photos by Jack Fenby
If 2020 robbed you of a trip to the land of ‘La Rèvolution’ (or even if it didn’t), it’s about time you checked out the Adelaide Central Market’s French Charcuterie and Patisserie, Les Deux Coqs.
Les Deux Coqs is helmed by French couple Katia Vincon and Bastien Verslype, who moved to Adelaide after a business-inspiring trip in 2012 that included McLaren Vale, Kangaroo Island, and the Adelaide Hills.
Determined to fill a gap, the two gourmands have been producing some of South Australia’s finest French small-goods, pastries, and pâtés, since first popping up at markets across the state in 2017.
Gaining an immediate following based on quality and authenticity, Les Deux Coqs, meaning ‘two roosters,’ has had a permanent home in the Central Markets for the last 2.5 years.
In those years, Katia and Bastien have furthered their stellar reputation for homemade Terrines, Tapenades and Rillettes, and expanded the Les Deux Coqs offering to include dine-in charcuterie, take-home soups, and cassoulets.
For those with more time to linger, they’ve even been selling a select range of French wines, perfect for pairing with a custom platter.
In 2020, the going has been tougher. However, with the help of regular customers, along with a honed ability to adapt, the pair is making strides towards a second, and possibly third location.
“The first few months were very tough,” explains Katia, referring to the period from March to May this year, when South Aussies were spending more time at home due to COVID-19.
“Our sales seriously dropped because the market was so empty, and we had to reduce the number of hours we traded.
“However, as soon as we launched our website and focused on delivery, we received huge support from our customers. Some even sent us messages to see how we and our staff were doing.”
Katia says Adelaide’s focus on local producers and small businesses since the state began opening up has been very encouraging.
“We’ve noticed that people seem to have become more local and small business orientated,” she says.
“The farmers and craft markets have become more popular because people realise that without small businesses, their district and communities will die.
“Luckily, the management of the Central Market have been very supportive. They have worked hard to implement the appropriate safety measures, and we think this is why people have come back to the market. The numbers aren’t quite the same yet, but they’re getting close.”
Relative to their home country of France, where a second strict lockdown is underway, Adelaide is in an enviable position. And the advantages don’t end there for the couple.
“We think that SA is the best state in Australia in terms of freshness and diversity of raw, artisanal ingredients,” says Katia.
“The climate is similar to Europe, which makes our production a bit easier. Our processes take longer because everything is handmade, but this is why it tastes so different.”
All of this adds up to what has already proven a successful formula; high quality, seasonal produce, flavours of the Provence, and of course, a healthy dose of ‘je ne sais quoi.’
To meet demand, it’s likely that the Les Deux Coqs brand, along with their mobile pop-up (a near replica of their market stall), will be seen further afield soon.
“It [the pop-up] arrived from France in September, and every time we go to the markets now, our customers get excited,” she says.
“From day one, Bastien and I have wanted to create new market experiences here like we have in France, and the feedback we get confirms this.
“Currently, we are working with the City of Holdfast Bay to create a new European-style market in Glenelg, and from the end of November, we will take our pop-up onto Rundle Mall.”
Find Les Deux Coqs at Shop 1: Stall 2 of the Adelaide Central Market, 44-60 Gouger Street Adelaide.