Holiday hosting is hard. But if anyone knows how to make a small space feel cozy and welcome, it's Ashley and Gautier Coiffard. If you don't recognize their names, perhaps you'll recognize their Instagram-viral bakery business, L'Appartement 4F. They are most known for their almost-too-cute-to-eat petite croissant cereal and starting their sweet business out of a tiny apartment during peak pandemic. Spoon chatted with the-husband-and-wife team about their plans to add another petite cereal flavor, how the little details count when hosting, and their partnership with their fave wine brand, Maison Louis Jadot.

Some answers have been edited for clarity and length. 

Spoon University: I, like the whole world, am obsessed with the mini croissant cereal. Are there any plans to make different versions? Say a pain au chocolat cereal?

Ashley and Gautier Coiffard: Following the success of the petite croissant cereal, we are very interested in creating a pain au chocolat version. The hardest part is to find mini chocolate sticks that don’t break! We are also looking into making lavender, as well as matcha versions.

SU: How do you stay patient during the trial & error process of recipe development?

AC & GC: It is the most fun and the most stressful thing to do for us. It’s always rewarding to come up with a delicious new treat – but it’s not always that simple. We never sacrifice the quality of our recipes, and when it comes to trying out something new, it doesn’t always come out perfect the first few times. But we never give up! We recently ventured into gingerbread houses, and this was definitely a challenge with long nights. But after trial and error, we are very happy with our results and look forward to baking more gingerbread this holiday.

SU: What's one thing no one told you about going into the food business?

AC & GC: We decided to open the bakery with zero experience in the food industry. We were very thankful to receive a large amount of advice and tips from our community. That being said, no one told us that construction and permits would take so long!

SU: How did you two stay in a relationship while baking French pastries in a small apartment?

AC & GC: Building a whole business from scratch in a 475-square-foot apartment while still living in it was definitely a challenge. The love we have for each other is why we started this, and it’s important to remind ourselves of this when it gets tough. We like to celebrate everything, and it keeps it fun and exciting. We even had a “work holiday party” when it was just the two of us.

SU: Speaking of parties, what are little ways that you make a dinner party feel elevated without spending lots of extra time or money?

AC & GC: It’s all about the little details. We love to mix and match vintage linens, plating, silverware, and crystal glasses, as well as add fresh florals and candles to elevate our holiday table. We also create handwritten place cards for each guest, which adds another thoughtful element to our tablescape.

SU: What are your dinner party & hosting tips?

AC & GC: Whenever we host our holiday soirees, we try to plan our food and drink menu a week beforehand. This allows us to prep some of the key menu items, like a delicious homemade dough that needs a few days to chill and laminate.

Also, when serving wine, proper glassware is preferred, but does not matter as much as proper temperature. Place white wine in the fridge the day prior to ensure it’s served chill — our preferred white wine is Louis Jadot’s Mâcon-Villages. About an hour before guests arrive, we remove the white wine from the fridge, and place the red wine in the fridge. By the time guests arrive, the white wine will be the perfect sipping temperature, and the red wine will be slightly chilled and delicious for our main course.

SU: Let's talk wine pairings. For when you're just tearing into some bread and butter before dinner, what are you drinking?

AC & GC: Our go-to beverage after spreading salted butter on our warm bread is always a good red wine. We love Louis Jadot’s Beaujolais-Villages. Its rich body is the perfect combination with our sourdough baguettes.

SU: What's the dessert/digestif pairing you're reaching for?

AC & GC: One of our favorite desserts around the holiday is cookies. It wouldn’t be a proper holiday cookie spread without chocolate chip cookies! A rich, brown-butter chocolate chip cookie has familiar flavor notes of warm vanilla and with luxurious pockets of molten chocolate. A fruity, classic red wine makes for a delicious companion to this classic cookie.

Visit the L'Appartement 4F Bakery at 115 Montague St. in Brooklyn.