This is the kind of thing that I love Europe for, but which is disappearing as more and more US style global corporations enter into markets. Maybe someday this will be a Starbucks, but I sure hope not. I love these little individual stores, full of unique personality and surprises. The kind of thing you hardly ever find anymore in the US, where Walmarts and Walgreens and Home Depot have taken over this market, and forced these kinds of places to cease to exist.
Here we have a major metropolitan area – Florence (Firenze) where thank goodness, there is not enough room for these ‘big box’ type stores to start to take hold – and I hope they never do. These kinds of tiny stores are everywhere in Firenze and other places in Italy and France, though in France chains such as ‘Mr Bricolage’ (Mr Fixit) are starting to have the same kind of effect as Home Depot and smaller local quincailleries disappearing. Luckily many urban areas still ban these kinds of stores but they are ever-present in the more wide-open countryside. I found this Blog to have some good opinions in a similar vein.