Like many of us, Sacha Gross lost his job and engaged in abundant baking during quarantine in 2020. But unlike many of us, his creations were so good that he formed his own company and called it Sachette’s Galettes.
Gross started small, baking only for friends and family in his Greenpoint apartment. By November 2020, he launched his business on Instagram and within a few months, strangers were requesting galettes.
Greenpointers spoke with Gross about his upbringing in Paris, his foray into baking galettes, and his life in Greenpoint.
Greenpointers: A lot of people took up baking during the pandemic, but you’re not a beginner. How did your love of baking originate?
Gross: It started in Paris, where I lived until the age of 11. My mother was a housewife in Paris and spent a lot of time baking and also taking me to Paris’ wonderful patisseries. Paris instilled a love of food at an early age, and I started cooking in my teens.
Greenpointers: How did you turn baking into a business?
Gross: I was unemployed because I worked in production and lost my job, like many others.
While looking for another job, I started baking a lot. I wanted to start slow, so I just launched on Instagram in November 2020, and didn’t develop a website or advertise. But friends started posting on their Instagram pages and from there, strangers started to trickle in.
Greenpointers: Why galettes?
Gross: The first Sunday in January is a Catholic holiday in France called Epiphany. French families share a galette des rois, which is called king cake here because whoever gets the slice of galette with a charm inside is king for the day. I saw an article about king cakes and it reminded me of my childhood. So, I decided to start baking galettes.
Greenpointers: What types of galettes do you make? Which one is your most popular?
Gross: Right now, I’m making a sweet pear and apple galette and a savory goat cheese and onion one. I like to use additional flavors depending on the season. For example, I make an heirloom tomato galette and a peach and plum one in the summer.
The most popular and most classic is the pear and apple, but a lot of people like the goat cheese and onion one, too. I tell people that they can add hot honey to the savory one, a condiment so popular in Greenpoint.
Greenpointers: What are your favorite places to eat in Greenpoint when you’re not eating galettes?
Gross: Well, speaking of hot honey, I love Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop. I eat at Little Tiffin and Di an Di a lot. I love Ashbox Cafe and Achilles Heel. I think Bakeri has really good baguettes. I always say if you don’t smell the pastries in a bakery, then walk out, and Bakeri smells great.
Greenpointers: Do you hope to open your own bakery one day?
Gross: I thought I always wanted a career in entertainment, but I saw how the sausage was made. I always envisioned myself making sandwiches on a beach when I retire, but I thought why not start now? I really think you should do what you love. Seeing people love what I make is instant gratification. I tell people that my galettes’ secret ingredient is love. Corny, I know, but it’s true!
So, yes, I’d love to one day open a French cafe like the ones I remember from my childhood.