Walk into this North Miami spot and the aroma of freshly baked bread overcomes the senses, but it’s more than just a place to eat baked goods and fresh food while you sip wine.
Paradis Books & Bread is lined with tightly packed bookshelves and tables scattered with books. There’s seating indoors and outdoors as well as fruit and vegetable gardens.
The menu has a wide selection of food. Daytime offerings include two breakfast sandwiches, granola with yogurt or milk, kale salad and crumbly cinnamon coffee cakes. At night there’s pizza, kale salad, seafood, and various desserts as well as snacks.
The warm, rustic and crusty sourdough bread made in-store daily comes by itself or in sandwiches. The wines are sourced from organic farms that use hand-harvested grapes and no chemicals.
Still in its infancy, the store opened on West Dixie Highway squeezed between Northwest 128th and 129th streets in July.
“It’s been a dream of ours to be able to own our own place and have all the things we love, with natural wine, radical books, good coffee, good food, and good energy,” Bianca Sanon, one of five owners said.
The books at Paradis tilt towards leftist and progressive ideals, touching on feminism, critical race theory, racism and more.
Many come from small independent publishers, with titles like “Soldiers, Spies, and Statesman: Egypt’s Road to Revolt” by Hazem Kandil, “Black Against Empire” by Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin, “The Limits to Capital” by David Harvey, “Traces of History” by Patrick Wolfe.
“What was important for us, as far as the books that are in the shop, is that there are not a lot of places in Miami where you can get books like this,” Sanon said. “Just being able to walk in the shop and pick one of these books up is a prime example of why we’ve done this.”
Sanon and siblings Audrey and Brian Wright are Fort Lauderdale natives who moved to New York for college. There they met Sef Chesson and Ben Yen. The five friends share similar ideas and beliefs, helping create their vision for opening a shop.
The five said their experiences working in restaurants, coffee shops and bookstores helped create the mold for what Paradis was to become.
With a community-centric focus and a progressive approach, Sanon and the Wrights came together to ensure that the store is an open and comforting space for anyone who comes in.
“It’s a gathering place, a place for people to hang out and feel comfortable,” said Sanon. “It’s kind of whatever people make of it, as long as we respect each other and respect the space.”
The store hosts events like movie screenings, book clubs and wine tastings. They encourage the community to attend and suggest any of their own events.
Sanon said that she wants to see Paradis turn into a neighborhood spot in North Miami like neighborhood bookstores she saw in New York.
“We’ve only been in it for a few months and I think there’s still a lot of room to grow,” Sanon said. “But I really do believe that we want to be a spot for people to come and feel comfortable, and I think those kinds of spots don’t go out of style.”
Paradis Books & Bread
Hours: Thursday-Monday 11 a.m.- Midnight. (Kitchen Closed 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Address: 12831 West Dixie Highway