Marie’s Patisserie is a dream come true for Marie Kostos. Her passion for baking and cooking just wouldn’t let her sit still after a career in financial services.
But, just a few months after the grand opening, the pandemic hit and almost killed her dream for good. Her baking classes, which had been one of her main sources of income, were canceled for 8 months. Her customers on Market Wagon were the difference.
“We were dying because of COVID and we needed revenue,” Marie said. “Market Wagon kept my business alive.”
Marie has been cooking and baking all her life. With 7 children at home, there were never a shortage of mouths to feed. And with Marie, there was never a shortage of food either. She remembers her kids, as teenagers, begging her not to force feed their friends when they came over.
Cooking and baking professionally was something she always wanted to do. She even took pastry classes with Chef Colette Christian, a certified executive chef and master baker, who helped teach her all about French pastries like crème brulee, macarons or chocolate avalanche croissants.
But it’s the comfort foods from Marie’s Patisserie which have proven to be the most popular items on Market Wagon. Her meatloaf and scalloped potatoes are always in danger of selling out each week. Her loaded pepperoni bread is also a customer favorite.
Marie has added more meals in recent months like stuffed cabbage rolls or a hearty rigatoni with Italian sausage and meatballs.
She says many customers tell her that they would be hesitant to try an unfamiliar recipe except they’ve loved all her other dishes—and when they get their first taste, they’re always glad they tried something new! She also hears from many people who are thrilled with the generous portion sizes which make it easy to feed a family.
Marie is very, VERY picky. She doesn’t cut corners and uses only higher quality ingredients. For example, she’ll only use European butter because it has a higher fat content or Belgian chocolate.
“When I bake, it’s like I’m making these dishes for my family,” Marie said. “It’s not rocket science, you got to make tasty stuff.”
These days, Marie is back to doing what she loves. That doesn’t mean it’s easy though. It involves getting up at 5 a.m., baking until 2 p.m., then coming back to Marie’s Patisserie in the evening to teach classes. And of course, every week, getting all her orders together for Thursdays and her Market Wagon customers in Northeast Ohio.
Family is still a part of her operation—it’s just that it’s her 9 grandchildren (some pictured below) who sometimes come by the bakery to help, after having taken their own cooking classes from grandma.