For a decade, Michelle Kozak has been baking some of the city's best pastries out of her home in Grandview.
Mention French pastry in Columbus and Michelle Kozak’s name is often one of the first to come up. Her baking business, Pâtisserie Lallier, is treasured by those craving fresh pain au chocolat, fruit tarts, madeleines and even meticulously made confections that fill Advent calendars during the holidays.
After immersing herself in a monthlong pastry course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2009 (“for fun”), Kozak launched a small-scale cottage bakery from her Grandview home. In 2010, she started selling her pastries at Clintonville’s Global Gallery Coffee Shop. Two years later, after taking intermediate and advanced pastry courses, she traded her job in banking for the more solitary, creative life of a full-time baker.
“I think people are always surprised when they come over to see how small it is and how much I’m able to produce from it,” Kozak says about her galley-style kitchen, which affords her only a 4-foot-wide workspace. (She uses a table and a baker’s rack in the dining room as well.)Meet some of the Central Ohioans who baked their way through 2020.
Before 2020, Kozak had never had an online marketplace. When the COVID-19 outbreak began, Kozak ceased selling her pastries at the farmers markets she had attended for years and instead shifted to online orders and porch deliveries in Clintonville, Upper Arlington and Grandview as well as distanced drop-offs at Global Gallery. She says her fans—some of whom date back to her early days at the Clintonville Farmers Market—have followed.
“I’m really thankful, because I had never imagined this as a business model, but it’s worked really well,” she says. “It gave me a new outlet and a different way to sell. As long as it keeps working, I will continue with it.”
To place an order with Pâtisserie Lallier, visit patisserielallier.com.