Newark, DE

The Little French Café of Newark Brings a Pinch of Paris to Main St.

Abby Donnelly
French cuisine is a celebration of style and is a recipe for good conversation."
Abby Donnelly

For Martha Barrier, the opening of her internationally-focused cafe is the essence of divine timing. The building that previously operated as Brewed Awakenings now sets the stage for the forefront of Barrier’s French culinary dream.

Barrier’s devotion to European stories originates from her youngest years as a high school student, when she jumped on the opportunity to live with a French host family abroad. From there, she was hooked, and continued in college by majoring in French. “I love learning about the world,” she says.

After having four children, Barrier pursued her passion by earning a Masters and teaching French to students at the Towle Institute and within public schools for almost 20 years. Originally from North Carolina, the Barrier family relocated to Delaware for her husband’s ministry, ultimately further expanding her interest and faith in unexpected ways.

Opening the French café was “just kind of perfect timing,” she notes. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, on top of the regular challenges to running a business, Barrier has found overwhelming support in her family, friends, and previous owners of the space, allowing her to creatively expand her message and mission.

At home, Barrier began partage, a derision of the French word that means “to share,” where she would invite friends over and teach about an aspect of European culture. Together, they would learn about Brittany, for instance, and then cook the area’s famous light crêpes sucrées. In the same way, she hopes that The Little French Café of Newark will act as a catalyst of an immersive international community in the largely homogenous surrounding area. More than that, Barrier aims to share her faith through food, culture, and the spark of friendship.

The café will serve French delicacies rarely authentically found in northern Delaware, including madeleines, almond and chocolate croissants, scones, and sweet and savory crepes. It may also bustle with caffeine addicts and tired college students searching for their coffee fix. 

The story of the Barrier family resembles many local Delaware small businesses, yet offers an unique aspect of worldwide culture on Main St.. The Little French Café’s will celebrate their grand opening from ​July 13-17, 2021. 

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A Delaware-based journalist highlighting local stories on health, education, and science. Abby is an undergraduate at Georgetown University studying global health and journalism.

Wilmington, DE

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