Community Spotlight: Sasha Piligian, May Micro Bakery
Community is an integral piece of White Bark Workwear; the community we create our products for, the relationships we make along the way that builds the community who supports us, and even the extended community being fed by those that wear our aprons and share in the pursuit of crafting with the highest quality. This post features one member of our community, LA pastry chef Sasha Piligian, owner, head baker and delivery driver of May Micro Bakery. We spent some time with Sasha at her home in Glendale, where she creates pre-ordered cakes and pastries, to learn about her journey to the cottage bakery.
A Los Angeles native growing up in Inglewood, Sasha studied art history in college and worked in galleries across the city upon graduation. After some time in the art scene, she then moved into the retail world which helped hone a wide variety of skills ranging from administrative duties to customer service. When Sasha decided to seek a complete life shift, she searched through job boards and stumbled upon a craigslist ad that piqued her interest. Sasha reached out, met with Roxanna Jullapat of Cooks County and was offered a position in the restaurant. Having no prior experience in a commercial kitchen, Sasha rolled up her sleeves and got to work, learning from peers and laying the foundation for her baking career. When it was time to move on, Roxanna referred Sasha to a newly opened bakery in Venice where she continued to grow and absorb more knowledge. Gjusta was the second step in Sasha’s culinary adventure, expanding her experience and time with the ovens.
After Gjusta, Sasha landed at Sqirl in East Hollywood where she flourished and continued to learn, discovering baking techniques and creating her unique, distinct style. 3 years at Sqirl allowed Sasha a wider scope of training while creating with seasonal ingredients, combining complimentary flavor profiles and experimenting with different decorating styles. Being ready to shake things up, Sasha packed up her car and drove cross-country to Nashville to help a friend open a restaurant. Having the knowledge and experience gained throughout the years, Sasha brought her LA style and flavor to lou, creating all the dessert offerings for the entire menu. As things were underway and taking off, COVID-19 hit and the world began to shut down. As we all remember, times were uncertain, which led Sasha to return to LA and figure out the next move.
Born out of necessity, Sasha started May Micro Bakery in her kitchen to get her delicious creations out to the people during quarantine. The name comes from her grandmother Mary, whom everyone called May (Sasha’s middle name is Marie, also a play on Mary). Although Sasha’s family doesn’t have a history of baking, her memories of spending plenty of time in the kitchen cooking together, especially the family affair of making Armenian dried sausage, guided her to naming her cottage bakery after grandma.
May Micro Bakery sources from local farmer’s markets and offers seasonal cakes, pies, cookies, and rotating pastry boxes for pre-order as well as custom orders for private clients. Sasha does it all herself, from creating the weekly menu, acquiring ingredients, baking, making each component, assembling, decorating, packaging and even delivering! Having now gotten into the flow of operating a cottage bakery, Sasha wants to continue growing May Micro Bakery to move into a brick and mortar, allowing her to scale up operations and produce more scrumptious treats for us to enjoy. Sasha is also figuring out the next evolution of her cake decorating style while staying true to herself and not being influenced by others. White Bark Workwear is fortunate to have Sasha in our community and we are proud to call her our friend.
About the Author: Born and bred in Los Angeles, Jeremy is constantly searching for the next bite to write about. Between meals, he is food styling for TV/movie productions and commercial photoshoots. Jeremy has been known to eat 2-3 dinners in one evening, including dessert.
Photos by Charlie Pennes (except final photo from @sashimi1 instragram.)