If your Instagram feed has been flooded with a myriad of pictures of cereal bowls filled with milk and mini croissants but you haven't been able to get your hands on the delicacy yourself, you're in luck: Gautier and Ashley Coiffard, the married couple behind the culinary creation, will officially open their first brick-and-mortar store on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights on May 15.
The Coiffards kicked off their gastronomic endeavors via Instagram under the moniker L'Appartement 4F back in the summer of 2020. Although Gautier, who was born and raised in France, started making bread from the couple's own Cobble Hill apartment (you guessed it: unit 4F) in 2019, it wasn't until March 2020 that they sold their first batch to Ashley's co-workers at a bank in New York.
Alas, the arrival of a disruptive virus that forced everyone into quarantine, and made the ingredients needed to bake hard to find, swayed the duo's plans, who put everything on hold until the summer of that year (which also happens to be when they got married.)
"People started going out more in the summer and I found a big bag of flour so we decided to start again," Gautier recalls, also explaining that he's been baking everything—bread, croissants, cookies and croissant-like cereal—from the kitchen in his apartment. "We put up a menu on Instagram and the orders started pouring in."
In March of 2021, toying with the idea of investing in a ghost or industrial kitchen, the couple asked a customer who was savvy with numbers to look over their books and business plan.
"He told us it made more sense to go straight into retail because we already have return customers," Gautier recalls. Around the same time, a member of the Brooklyn Heights Association, a non-profit dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the neighborhood, reached out to the couple about their desire to revitalize Montague Street—an infamously drab area that leads to the beautiful Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
"They told us that everyone wanted a bakery there and asked us to come check out a few places," recalls Montague. One Kickstarter round later and, the rest, as they say, is history.
L'Appartement 4F will carry the same menu items it always has, including the best-selling tahini chocolate chip cookie au sel de mer. The petite croissant céréale (mini croissant cereal, on this side of the Atlantic) will be temporarily unavailable as the bakers catch up on past orders.
Gautier also reveals that they're applying for a liquor license, hoping to turn the mezzanine floor of the space they'll be renting into a happy hour destination. Croissants and wine: a slice of Paris smack-dab in the middle of Brooklyn.
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