Gautier Coiffard didn’t start baking until two years ago.
Living in Cobble Hill with his partner (now fiancé), he was missing the French bread of his native country and was looking for ways to keep busy. With a lot of practice, he advanced into making croissants, finding along the way that he possessed skills in the kitchen he had never previously explored.
“There aren’t really any bakers in my family, but I would beg my mom to make Clafoutis as a child,” Coiffard said. “We would pick the cherries from our backyard together and that’s the earliest memory I have of baking.”
The pandemic changed things. Coiffard had been giving some of his baked creations to friends and colleagues and decided, with trepidation, to open it up to the public in June 2020. Orders started to arrive, almost too many to handle. Soon enough, baking transitioned from a hobby to a career, and L’Appartement 4F was born.
For much of the last year, with people either working from their apartments or their full-time employment having suddenly evaporated, a burgeoning home-cooking scene emerged in Brooklyn, with chefs and bakers taking small orders and making home deliveries. But now, as the pandemic begins to wane, some cooks desire more space than the stereotypical city kitchen provides. The side-hustle is becoming a full-time business.
Following their success, L’Appartement 4F has launched a Kickstarter to help them fund some of the more pricey aspects of opening a French bakery, which they plan to do on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights this fall. They plan to take over the storefront at 115 Montague, formerly occupied by the Emack & Bolio’s ice cream parlor. So far, they have raised more than $40,000 of their $50,000 goal.
“We love Brooklyn and the bakery was born here,” Coiffard said. “One quick walk down the street, we knew we wanted to be a part of this neighborhood.”
They’re hoping that the bakery can play a role in the revitalization of Montague Street, which, like many other commercial stretches of Brooklyn, has lost a lot of businesses over the past year.
“The street is absolutely beautiful and we are very honored to now be part of it,” Coiffard said. “In the past few weeks we have been meeting a lot of people from the neighborhood and we really like the ‘little village’ feeling.”
This story first appeared on Brownstoner.com.