Such a lovely word! Can-kiy-yer-y.
I remember seeing it here and there on shop fronts as a girl on visits to France, but could never quite work out what it was.
In fact, the Quincaillerie is part hardware store and part Aladdin's cave. Stepladders, fishing nets and log baskets spill out across the pavement; zinc buckets and brooms of all sizes hang from butcher's hooks beneath the striped awning; and in the dimness of the interior, you can make out a medley of interesting and useful items you never knew you needed.
The one nearest to us is the Maison Ohier, run by the two Misses Ohier (breaking with tradition for shop naming, as discussed in N is for Noms!). Neither my husband nor I are particularly into DIY or Bricolage, but we do love poking around in this shop.
Aside from the hardware selections you would expect - wood cut to size, widgets and wotsits for screwing, fixing and hanging, light bulbs, paint, and all things needed for DIY - they have a fascinating collection of things for the home.
Fabulously expensive cookware and gadgets for the kitchen are ranged alongside chic wheelie shopping bags and multicoloured household bins.
Our favourite section is the collection of handmade brushes from a German company. Beautifully crafted in wood and natural fibres, they are designed for just about every conceivable use. You can buy a brush to clean your mushrooms, a curved one for removing crumbs from the table, a beard and moustache brush. Whatever you can imagine may need a brush, the Mesdames Ohier will have one to sell you.