Carat Cake: Brooklyn’s L’Appartement 4F on Viral Croissants and The Science of Good French Bread  

Nearly three years after getting married, Gautier and Ashley Coiffard find their dream rings at Greenwich St. Jewelers with help from Only Natural Diamonds.

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Back in March, the Only Natural Diamonds team visited Gautier and Ashley Coiffard, the owners of très mignon patisserie L’Appartement 4F, located in Brooklyn Heights. Despite being a gray and blustery Wednesday afternoon, the bakery, which opened in May 2022, was abuzz with customers seeking Gautier’s Instagram-famous croissants and tahini chocolate chip cookies. (On the weekends, there is a line halfway down the block on Montague Street.) And while this intersection of young love, engagements, and baked goods are typically the necessary ingredients for a sumptuous Carat Cake feature, there turned out to be more goodness to be had. During that initial visit, Ashley and Gautier, who wed in a civil ceremony in 2021 and had a proper wedding in the south of France a year later, revealed that they had not yet gotten around to finding the natural diamond wedding bands of their dreams. 

And who better to help them with this important ceremonial moment than OND? The OND team quickly connected the Coiffards with the masterminds at Greenwich St. Jewelers in Manhattan to find their forever rings. Read on to find out which pieces they chose. 

Only Natural Diamonds: How did the bakery get started? 

Ashley Coiffard: We started our bakery, L’Appartement 4F, in our little apartment in Cobble Hill Brooklyn at the beginning of 2020. It kind of happened by accident. Gautier [who is from the French Alps] was missing good French bread.  

Gautier Coiffard: I was missing bread and croissants, so I wanted to try to make them for myself and Ashley.

OND: You had a vision…and an engineering background.

GC: Yes. I came to New York for an engineering job in 2012, which I quit one year ago to be fully on this.

OND: The science of baking can be fascinating.

GC: Yes. Baking is a lot of math, so I like that. I can put it in a spreadsheet.

AC: When he would make mistakes with baking, he would fix it in the Excel sheet first and then try it with his baking.  I thought his pastries were really good, so I convinced him to eventually start selling to family, friends and strangers.

OND: You started with Instagram, right?  

AC: Yeah, in June 2020 we posted a menu on our Instagram, and we put up a menu on Facebook just to see if there was any interest. Right away people started ordering and it kind of just took off from there.

OND: How did you come to utilize this space in Brooklyn Heights? 

GC: The Brooklyn Heights Association reached out to us and said, “We desperately need a bakery, and we heard about you guys. Would you be interested to come to visit the spaces on Montague Street?” So we did, and we liked this space and made it happen.

OND: Now you regularly have lines out the door.

AC: Yeah. Especially on the weekends, there will be a long line to get croissants.

OND: How does it workday to day with the bakery? You guys are so busy. 

GC: Every day is a little bit different. But we’re trying to make it organized. We wake up, we try to walk out together, come here, and then separate a little bit.

AC: He focuses on the logistics of everything. So before he was a baker, and now he does the payroll and HR. So he does miss being in the kitchen. I still do all the social media and the marketing.   

OND: You recently got married. Can you tell us a little bit about the engagement story?

AC: Gautier asked me to marry him on August 28, 2019, on my 30th birthday. We were in Hawaii and it was in a sugar factory.

GC: An abandoned sugar factory that’s now a wedding venue.

AC: I thought we were just going to get drinks and he had actually rented out the whole space so he could propose, which was really nice. We got married legally a year later in a small civil ceremony in Southampton [NY], where I grew up. It was just me, him, and four other people. Then we had a big wedding in August 2022 in the south of France. We had looked at [engagement] rings in Paris on one of our first trips together and I told him that I wanted a gold band, and so he kind of knew to pick one like that.

OND: What made that ring special for you?  

GC: The engagement itself and knowing that she would like this style.

AC: To be fair, I sent him a lot of pictures for inspiration, so I think he’s having trouble explaining that. I basically told him, “This is the ring that I want.”  

GC: She sent me a lot of DM pictures from…

AC: …from Pinterest and Instagram. I made it very clear what I wanted. And especially when we went and we looked at rings in Paris, I kind of always knew what I wanted, a circular and gold band, and I wanted it very simple.  

OND: Do you have a lot of other jewelry?

AC: So I really like antiques. You could see it in the bakery and also with what I wear. I love to go to little antique stores in Brooklyn. I love secondhand jewelry with a story.

OND: Do you have any sentimental jewelry in your family? 

AC: Yes, my family is Persian and they’re really big on gold and natural diamonds. Bangles are big for us. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to wear them just yet. They were passed down from my grandmother to my mom. And she’s wearing them until… I don’t know when she’ll give them up, but eventually, she’ll give them to me and my sisters. Right now my mom has a big stack on her arm that she’s had since she was 12. She’s not taking them off anytime soon.

OND: Any love stories about people who have met at the bakery or through your baked goods?

AC: Yeah, we’ve had some people who did an engagement shoot upstairs. We also have a lot of missed connections in the bakery. People will DM me and say, “Hey, I saw this guy, he was wearing this and this. Do you know who that is?” So we joked around about making a “Missed Connections” column [for the website]. I guess the pastries really bring out the romance and the flirty side of people.

OND: Do you guys ever have dinner parties with your baked goods?

AC: We actually started the bakery because we used to have dinner parties, and I would make a spread and Gautier would bake all of the bread, pies, and quiche from scratch. We saw how happy that made people. So that’s really where the idea came from.  

OND: Now it’s an empire.

AC: [Laughs] The beginning of an empire.

OND: OK guys, so the last time we saw you two was about a month ago, at your bakery in Brooklyn Heights. You mentioned that neither of you had wedding bands despite being married for nearly three years. So, lo and behold, here we are with the magic fairies from Only Natural Diamonds and Greenwich St. Jewelers. Have you had a chance to look at bands? What have you decided?

AC: Yes, we’ve looked at a few bands. I’m obsessed with everything that I’m looking at, so it’s going to be hard to make a decision.

OND: What are you leaning towards?

AC: I really like this antique cut bezel set eternity band [by Single Stone, which Greenwich St. Jewelers carries exclusively]. It has a vintage feel and as you can probably tell from the style of the bakery, I really like antiques. I also like the scallop feel of the ring.

OND: Is there another one that’s also a second choice?

AC: Yeah, I really also love this marquee eternity band. It’s going to be hard to choose.

OND: How are you going to choose?

AC: Do I have to choose? [Laughs] I think I’m going to pick the bezel set. Gautier really likes that one too, so it’s kind of sweet.

OND: Do you normally have opinions about jewelry?

GC: Not necessarily. I trust her opinion.  

OND: That’s a good sign then.

AC: The fact that he even said that he likes it makes it special.  

OND: And what about you Gautier, have you found anything?

GC: Yeah, I mean, we were thinking about something gold. A gold band. [He ended up choosing a G.St Ceremony Walker band in 18-karat yellow gold.]  

OND: What has been your experience being in the store and looking at all of the bands? 

AC: I feel like a kid in a candy shop! I’ve looked at a lot of rings before and never found anything that I was excited about. So, I never chose a wedding band. Now I have three different options and I don’t know which one to go for.

OND: Did you say that you are planning to alter your engagement ring as well?

AC: Yeah, I was looking at the engagement rings that Greenwich St. Jewelers have, and I liked the way they looked because they are a little more modern. They have rings with four prongs and mine has six prongs, so I’m upgrading. I like the way their rings look with their wedding bands, so I figured I would just go all in.

OND: What happens back at the bakery? Where are you going to put all these beautiful new rings?

AC: Considering I don’t really bake, I can keep mine on

Photographer: Andrew Werner
Video Creative Director: Brian Anstey
Video Production: Arrow Media Productions