We had the good fortune of connecting with Sasha Piligian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sasha, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I didn’t really have a clear thought process it was more out of necessity. I didn’t follow any real steps I just started doing things intuitively and asked a lot of friends for help. I think a lot of it is about going with your gut and being true to yourself. I had to be confident int he product I was putting out into the world and knowing I build a strong community. Community is everything to me, sourcing quality ingredients and being intentional with what I do and don’t do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My story of becoming a baker/chef feels like a bit of luck and right place right time. I was in my late twenties and wanted to change my career trajectory I thought I wanted to work in kitchens so I just started applying to restaurants on craigslist. I didn’t hear back from most of them except one responded and that was Roxana Jullapat she hired me as an intern at Cooks County with no kitchen experience. I slowly moved up to working service as a pastry cook and then to production. From there I went to help open Gjusta as an AM baker under Nicole Rucker and I stayed there for about 2 years. I was looking to leave and got connected to the CDC at Sqirl, who is now a close friend Javi Ramos. I was hired there as the Pastry Chef and I quickly realized I was maybe in over my head but I used the space as a way to experiment and figure out who I was as a baker/pastry chef. I love working with other people so I heavily leaned on my team it was a community experience. I let the pastry cooks have freedom to experiment and come up with fun flavor combos/ items to put on the menu. That was the special thing about my work there it gave me the space to figure out who I was, what I liked, what I didn’t and what kind of leader I want to be. I learned a lot about managing people the challenges that it comes with. I can say that my work there propelled me into a space that allowed me to start my own cottage bakery and create the brand I have today. Working in restaurants has really allowed me to shape what kind of business I want to have.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite places Found Oyster I love to go there for seafood tower and wine long hangs with friends. Some other places I love Sapp Coffee, Luv 2 Eat Thai Bistro, Northern Thai. Coffee I go to Dinosaur, my neighborhood shop Little Ripper, or Endorfeine. I have so many food places I could list! Lasita in Chinatown, Quarter Sheet in Echo Park, Bakers Bench has amazing vegan croissants, Maurys and Belles I love all bagels! I usually take friends to Melody Wine Bar they have great pop ups in rotation. And Soon great food/ vibe and wine. I could go on and on
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Like I mentioned before my community is everything! A lot of my friends are also bakers we are always swapping stories, techniques, spreadsheets, information etc. I would be lost without my community. Some of my close friends Calli Webb, Rose Wild, Hannah Ziskin, Javi Ramos. My very best friend who is not in the food community but has helped me greatly on the backend and behind the scenes talk through strategy, logistics for big holiday bakes. The long term friends are necessary when I need help, advice, or just to bounce ideas off of.