November 19, 2015

November 2015 Newsletter

Thanksgiving is nearly here!

The deadline to get your orders in for Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. If you want to guarantee that you have Floriole bread, pies or other sweets on your holiday table, you will have to place your order by Sunday November 22nd at 5pm. Place your order here, call 773-883-1313 or come into the store. thanksgiving bread

Big news! Nominations for 2015 Jean Banchet Awards — the Chicago area food Oscars – announced . . . and Sandra Holl is a nominee for pastry chef of the year. The awards ceremony will be held January 17th and winners in each category will be chosen through a vote of restaurant industry professionals. Check out the article from the Chicago Tribune here.


What’s in season?

This is the time of year to enjoy the many members of the brassica family. Members include kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli to name a few. They are best in the cool weather of Autumn because their flavor becomes sweeter with a light frost.

Also in season are winter squash, beets, radish, cranberries, apples, pears, . . . You will be sure to find many of these fruits and vegetables on our menu this month.

November Salads:

  • shaved Brussels sprout and kale salad with a meyer lemon vinaigrette and sarvecchio cheese
  • saffron couscous, almonds, herbs, pomegranate seeds and apple
  • kabocha squash humus
  • roasted beet and bulgur


November 2, 2015

Thanksgiving Menu 2015

Click here to place your order online.

All orders must be placed by November 22nd.

Orders placed by November 15th get a big high-five from a staff member and a little something extra added to their order.   

please select a pickup date and time:

  • Tuesday 11/24, 3pm-5pm

  • Wednesday 11/25, 10am-2pm

  • Wednesday 11/25, 2pm-5pm

Floriole Pumpkin Pie $28

9” serves 8

Butternut squash clafoutis custard baked in gingerbread crust


Apple Pie $28

9” serves 8

Three varieties of local apples with warming spices baked in a flakey rye crust


Galette $30

10” serves 8

Apples and raspberries with brown butter custard in our famous flakey crust


Pecan Pie $38

9” serves 8

Missouri pecans suspended in a sweet and salty honey custard


Pumpkin Tea Cake $9

Baby loaf serves 6

Lightly spiced and packed with pumpkin flavor, this tea cake makes a great breakfast or light dessert with a dollop of whipped cream


Pumpkin Sticky Buns $25.50

½ dozen

Sweet breakfast bun filled with pumpkin and topped with cream cheese frosting


Cheddar and Herb Quiche $40.00

9” serves 8-10

The perfect Turkey alternative for your vegetarian guests or a hearty breakfast for everyone


Baguette $4.00

A crisp exterior and light open crumb with a little acidity from the addition of a sourdough starter


Large House Sourdough $10.00

A French sourdough – not sour but sweet and nutty from whole wheat and rye flours. A perfect crusty addition to your Thanksgiving table.


Dinner Rolls $10.00

½ dozen

Buttery brioche rolls baked golden brown. Perfect for leftover turkey sandwiches or as an accompaniment to your feast.


Semolina $10.00

A naturally leavened semolina bread, with a tender crumb, and distinct flavor. Slightly sour notes counter the rich nuttiness of the crust. A versatile bread that can stand alone, or eaten with everything.

October 8, 2015

October 2015 Newsletter



I have a pretty good excuse for sending out October’s updates a little later than planned. . . I have been in Brooklyn at the Valrhona school of chocolate taking a class about the traditional French Christmas cake, buche de noel. I don’t want to give too much away before our holiday menu comes out after Thanksgiving, but be assured we will be making some beautiful buche de noel this season!

Now back to the present. October is here and we are embracing autumn with menu changes that reflect the return of cooler temperatures and shorter days. Get ready for piping hot soups, stick to your ribs steel cut oatmeal porridge, apples, chestnut, pumpkin, quince and warming spices.

Looking for something fun to do Friday night? Join us for the Pilot Light Feed Your Mind annual fundraiser! Get more information and tickets here.


The BAD is back from vacation

B.A.D. High Res

With the return of October, we happily welcome the venerable BAD back from a two-month vacation. No changes have been made to this loved Floriole sandwich: crisp Nueske’s bacon, peppery arugula dressed with lemon and olive oil, fresh goat cheese and date almond spread on yeasted cornbread.

Salads are vibrant exciting this month! Kabocha squash hummus, celery root and apple remoulade, butternut squash with kale and pomegranate seeds, and roasted beet and bulgur.

Trick or Treat


We have some new treats in the case this month and many favorites from years past are back for the season.

An old favorite, Pumpkin sticky buns will be around until the end of November. We smear our butter flakey dough with pumpkin puree and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar then roll it up and bake it before topping it with cream cheese frosting. These are a staff favorite and are not to be missed!

Spicy gingerbread is back in ghost, pumpkin, acorn and leaf shapes. These dry crunchy cookies pack a spicy punch that can be addictive.


Join us for the Pilot Light Feed Your Mind annual fundraiser! Get more information and tickets here.

September 8, 2015

September 2015 Newsletter

Vacation is over – Now back to work.

We took a little newsletter vacation but we are back and ready to roll. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the summer and is ready to get back to the grind. The kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter and before we know it there will be a chill in the air to remind us all that the seasons are changing.


What did we do over the summer?

In July, Emily and I jetted off to Toronto to compete on a cooking show. I hate to be coy but I signed a nondisclosure agreement and can’t tell you much about it until after the show airs. We will be sure to showcase what we baked in the store so you can judge how you think we did in the competition. We will let you know when to tune in to see just how well Emily and I did at “reality” tv.

At the beginning of August, Mathieu and I spoke about the subject “collaborate” at the monthly Creative Mornings gathering. I can’t bring myself to watch the video but feel free to check it out here . . . just don’t tell me if I made a lot of funny faces or said something else silly on camera. We had a great time and it was good challenge for us, two introverts with a fear of public speaking.


September Salads


September is a funny month because we never really know what produce we will have. If it stays warm we will have lots of tomatoes and other produce and those crops will seem seasonally correct. If it cool off we will be in for winter squash, brassicas and apples. We are banking on it staying warm and will continue to celebrate the tomato and other nightshades until they disappear.

September Salads

  • Spiced eggplant dip with house bread
  • Quinoa, melon, feta and mint
  • Potato, corn and roasted peppers
  • Heirloom tomato plates
  • Cucumber and tomato panzanella

Other changes from the savory station

We will be switching back to hot porridge sometime this month starting with organic steel cut oats cooked with seedling apple cider, topped with slow cooked apples, toasted walnuts and maple syrup.

The turkey sandwich is getting a seasonal update with house made peperonata and goat cheese on our house focaccia.

Have you tried our croissants lately?


I don’t think our croissants have ever been so good. We have upgraded the chocolate we are putting in our pain au chocolat to Valrhona Tainori – a lovely fruity dark chocolate. The ham and cheese croissants have changed shape and are now topped with a mix of seeds and spices. Who know that such a simple change could make such a difference? Also new in house, we are making a specialty croissant – the first was vanilla butter laminated and stuffed with bubblegum plum compote. We have a lot of ideas up our sleeves so follow us on instagram to see what is new and exciting.


Shout out to the bread department

Our bread department has been busy kneading and shaping loaves for our wholesale clients on top of all the bread they make for Floriole sandwiches and retail sales. We are proud to be working with several restaurants, coffee shops and retail markets throughout the city. Even when you can’t make it to the bakery in Lincoln Park, you can have a slice of our bread!

Alex and Wes receiving a whole lot of wheat from Breslin Farm.

Wes, pictured above with Floriole bread baker Alexander, has been milling wheat and rye flour for us since this spring. We are thrilled to be working with him and the people at Pleasant House Bread to have freshly milled flour from Breslin Farm.

And Finally, the moment you have all been waiting for . . . Mathieu’s Coin

Dear readers,

Le coin was on summer camp with its big sister: the newsletter.
They’re both back to school. Ready for a new year of excitements.
Le coin had a great summer, it enjoyed the mild weather, frequent outdoor activities, gardening, swimming, made new friends (le cote, le centre, ..)
But le coin got to do what le coin got to do and give its people what they want.
Le coin wants to point out a change that happened to the Ham & Cheese croissant as it is noticeable. Le coin can’t believe it: after 5 years, they are changing the shape of one of their mainstay?! Are they nuts or not ? Well, le coin be darned, the new version is amazing.
Here’s the game of the month:send le coin a haiku about the new croissant, the one selected by le coin will be published in next month newsletter and the winner will receive a $20 gift card.
A bientot!
Le coin
May 4, 2015

Floriole Newsletter May 2015

Happy May!

IMG_20130501_233439 (1)

May marks the beginning of the farmers’ market season. We will be seeing asparagus, rhubarb, green garlic, spinach, pea tendrils, radishes and possibly strawberries by the end of the month. It is an exciting time of year for farmers, bakers and savory cooks alike. With the influx of spring produce the menu will be lightening up. We hope you come in and taste what is new!

Take a peek at our rooftop garden on the second floor and you will see that gardening season is well under way. Sara from Verdura has been hard at work getting our earth boxes ready and seeded with edible flowers, herbs, peas and fava beans. We are hoping for sunshine and warmer weather to keep our plants happy and productive.


What’s happening – a quick peek at this month.

We are always busy around here but this month is super charged with in-house events, holidays, fundraisers and off-site events.

May 10th is Mother’s Day! Bring your mom in for a nice brunch or lunch or order her favorite sweet.

We have a really exciting event in New York with Bob’s Red Mill on May 12th. You can be sure to see lots of pictures of the event and our New York adventure on Instagram.


May 22nd is the Key Ingredient Cook-Off . Get tickets here and come see what we decide to make with coffee.

May24th Sunday Supper at Floriole with Abra Berens, friend and Chef at the soon to open Local Foods.

May 29th One Million Degrees annual Gala. Get tickets here to support this amazing organization that empowers low-income, highly motivated community college students to succeed in school, in work and in life. Floriole will be providing dessert.

May 31st  Simply Ancient Grains book signing, tasting and q&a session with Maria Speck. Tickets available here.


 Floriole in the News

I’m not sure what happened but we had a lot of press this past month. No complaints here!

There was a great article and picture of head baker Alex and the Boston brown bread in the Chicago Tribune in April. Thanks to Rachel Post for originally developing the recipe!

Check out Sandra’s picks for Mother’s Day gifts in Bon Appetit.

Thrillist included Sandra in 20 Female Chefs in Chicago You Should Know About


Saying goodbye is always a little bittersweet but something we have learned to expect and live with. This month we will say farewell to a few team members:


Mark, general manager, has taken a job with Local Foods. We are excited for him and look forward to working with him.

Betsy, pastry manager, will be going to one of our favorite places in the city – Cellar Door Provisions. They are lucky to have her and I am happy to live around the corner so she won’t be far away.

Matt, or events coordinator left at the end of April. He will be working on a food truck and hopes to have one of his own someday.

Onward and upward! We a rooting for Floriole employees to continue being successful and can’t wait to see what great things they will do next.


April 1, 2015

Floriole Newsletter April 2015

April 2015: Bring on the Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are my least favorite cookie and I can’t think of anything worse than a blondie. This is no April Fools joke! I dislike chocolate chip cookies and have vowed to never sell them from the bakery. Unfortunately for me, my bakers love chocolate chip cookies and thought it would be a funny April Fools Day joke to sell them today. Happy April Fools Day and enjoy the chocolate chip cookies – they won’t be around for long.

Last Day For Easter / Passover Orders

Floriole Passover & Easter Orderform

Be sure to place your order today by 5pm so that we can have your items ready for pick-up Saturday or Sunday.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

A few weeks before opening in 2015.



It is hard to believe that Mathieu and I started Floriole nearly nine years ago at the Green City Market. Our first year in business, I was pregnant with our daughter and we worked our tails off trying to bake enough for each market. We started Floriole with a tent, folding table and pastries that highlighted the bountiful produce of our midwestern farmers. Over the years we have watched our business and daughter grow up together – she gets taller and Floriole hires more employees. Today we have a beautiful brick and mortar storefront in Lincoln Park with an expanded menu and over 30 employees AND we continue to make simple food that uses produce from some of our favorite farmers.

Please join us on April  8th to celebrate 5 years in the store. There will be cake and festivities to mark the occasion.

March 12, 2015

A few reminders for the rest of March & early April . . .

Sunday Supper March 22nd

We still have some seats for this amazing collaboration dinner with Jonathan Zaragoza. Reserve your seats by calling the cafe 773-883-1313.

spring sale

Floriole Passover & Easter Menu

items with * are made without wheat flour making them a perfect addition to your passover table

Orders must be placed by 5pm April 1st for pick-up April 4th & 5th. 
Place orders in the cafe or by calling 773-883-1313

Breakfast Pastries

plain croissants (1/2 dozen) $20

chocolate croissants (1/2 dozen) $20

morning buns (1/2 dozen) $21

almond croissants (1/2 dozen) $22

Something Savory

quiche $40
spinach & cheddar or quiche lorraine

bacon wrapped dates (per dozen) $24

cheese stuffed mushrooms (per dozen) $24

pigs in a blanket (per dozen) $24


*chocolate souffle cake (6″) $30

milk chocolate salted caramel hazelnut tart $48

lemon meringue tart $34

coconut cream tart $34

*coconut macaroons (per dozen) $17

*pate de fruit (per dozen) $12


house bread $5.50

baguette $4

brioche buns (1/2 dozen) $8

hot cross buns (1/2 dozen) $14

Concha (1/2 dozen) $13

Macaron Day Chicago

March 20th

The first day of spring, March 20, 2015, sees the return of Macaron Day Chicago. This year’s celebration, however, is the first where area bakeries and pastry shops around the city unite for a charitable cause. They will sample their delicious macarons, delectable French sandwich cookies composed of almond powder-meringue cookies joined by a buttercream, ganache, jam or other filling, in exchange for a donation to charity. Following in footsteps of Paris and New York, Macaron Day in Chicago is initiated by head chef and owner of La Fournette, Pierre Zimmermann, who is joined by other Chicago businesses including Alliance Bakery, Floriole Café and Bakery, Pierrot Gourmet, Toni Patisserie, Verzênay Pâtisserie as well as Isn’t That Sweet in La Grange, and Bennison’s Bakery in Evanston.

The patrons of these businesses may receive one free macaron in exchange for making a donation to Esperanza Community Services, a nonprofit organization in Chicago that offers services to children and adults with developmental disabilities. All the participants are thrilled to support this important cause together, and believe that Chicagoans, many whose passion for fine cuisine and sweets rivals their New York and Parisian counterparts, will appreciate the good excuse to sample a fine pastry.

Located in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, Esperanza Community Services is a nonprofit organization that supports children and adults with developmental disabilities, including autism and behavior needs, to be independent. This mission is carried out through their programs offered on campus and throughout the community, including a school for students ages 5-21, an adult day program, a residential program and more. Esperanza is a supportive, inclusive place where students are learning academics and growing social skills, and adults are developing practical life skills that will help them become as independent as possible. And at Esperanza, we see achievements every day.

Esperanza has provided support and resources to individuals and families for more than 45 years. To learn more about their programs or upcoming events, please visit or call 312.243.6097 x 131.


March 5, 2015

What’s Happening in March at Floriole


This month is all about customer service

In early February, Mark, Lisa and I attended a customer service training at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI. Zingerman’s began as a small Jewish Deli about thirty years ago and has grown into a community of 8+ successful businesses. They have been called the “coolest small company in America” by Inc. magazine, are known for having the best customer service around, and they make a mean pastrani sandwich.

The three of us learned a ton at the training and we are sharing what we learned with team Floriole. I hope you will notice a positive impact on the level of customer service we provide. Please help us continue to improve – any feedback, good or bad, will help.


Sunday Suppers at Floriole

The February Sunday supper was a sold out success. Floriole baker Betsy made lasagne with broccoli rabe, we brought in freshly made local burrata that paired perfecly with our bread, and dessert featured campari grapefruit sorbet and prosecco granita. Thanks to everyone who came out for dinner!

Betsy’s lasagne with charred broccoli rabe

 March 8th with Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling $30

Winter Mezze: roasted purple cabbage with harissa & lime, kabocha squash hummus, cauliflower with pomegranate vinaigrette, pears & parsnips with hazelnuts & honey, beetroot muhammara, Floriole flatbread

Gigante beans & greens in spiced tomato sauce with smoked labneh

Roasted apples with sesame crumble & macadamia milk

March 22nd with Jonathan Zaragoza $40

Mathieu and I met Jonathan at Masa Azul,  the restaurant down the street from our home, and we fell in love with his simple and refined take on Mexican cusine. Jonathan has since left the restaurant to return to his family’s Birrieria Zaragoza. We couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with Jonathan for this four course dinner!

Masa dumpling caldo

Prawns a la diabla with citrus cilantro salad

Pork belly mole manchamanteles, tortillas a mano

Tres leches ice cream cake, tepache sherbet, dry lime meringue

April 5th Easter Sunday Supper $30

Let us do the cooking while you enjoy some time with friends or family.

Carrot soup, dill, creme fraiche

Leek, spinach and cheese souffle, lemon roasted potatoes, asparagus

Pineapple upside down cake

Learn something new


Macaron Class March 24th

Cost: $80 per person

Join us for an evening of crafting the classic French confection, macaron.  This beginner level class will include a hands-on demo, macaron tasting, beverages and light appetizers.

Space is limited so please call or email the cafe to reserve your spot by 10am March 22nd.

Class requires at least 4 students.  Full refund is offered if minimum is not reached.

We make savory food too

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we brined grass fed beef brisket and made corned beef hash with roasted root vegetables. It is served with a soft cooked egg and a side salad and will be on special for the month.

Composed salads and soups for March

  • orzo with carrot hazelnut pesto and pea tendrils (veg)
  • celery, radish, date and parmesan with lemon and olive oil (veg)
  • cabbage slaw with miso ginger dressing (vegan)
  • pimento cheese with house bread (veg)
  • borscht
  • chickpea vegetable stew
  • white bean and smoked ham
  • moroccan spiced red lentil

From the bread box

Boston brown bread is back for March.

Boston brown bread is back for March.

Lead bread baker, Alexander, has been working on a oat porridge bread that will even wow the oatmeal haters of the world (we know there are quite a few of you out there). It has a lovely light and moist texture, open crumb and slight acidity. It is great for sandwiches, toast or just tearing from the loaf.

Since Easter is at the very beginning of April, we will be rolling out hot cross buns towards the middle of March. We have been making these sweet yeasted rolls with citrus zest and dried fruits and cardamom icing for the past few years and they really are special. Be sure to place an order if you want to have them for Easter.

A little sweetness

Hot Cross

The Floriole baking team has been busy reworking old recipes and testing new ones. Below is a taste of what you may see in the case this month.

  • The Hot Cross Bun macaron will be back again this year – large cinnamon spiced macarons filled with preserved plum compote and cream cheese buttercream.
  • For Passover we will feature the chocolate souflee cake and coconut macaroons.
  • Expect to see a Boston brown bread breakfast muffin chuck full of carrots, currents and grated apple.
  • Coconut and banana cream pie will be available later in the month.

Le coin de Mathieu


a carpetbag circa 1860

Dear readers,
In a yelp review a neighbor wrote: “these are nothing but carpet baggers trying to make a quick buck in a neighborhood they never could afford to reside in.”
Carpetbagger! Awesome word of the week! Initially used around 150 years ago to describe yankees moving to the south to profit from the post-war vacuum. They carried their possessions in a bag made out of carpet which is kinda weird no? Must have left a big old hole in the middle of the living room.
 Anyway, the modern meaning, as used by our dear neighbor, refers to opportunists/outsiders.

Now, I do need, through this newsletter, to communicate to our dear neighbor that we do not plan on making just a quick buck but also a slow buck and a long buck, in fact we’ve been making sweet and savory bucks for 5 years now.


PS: I’ve just been informed that my use of “buck” is not correct. Oh well, I’m not the only one stll learning the language…

February 5, 2015

February 2015 Newsletter

That’s it, we made it through January! Never-mind the 19 inches of snow, it is indeed February, the month of love, expensive flowers and chocolate. The dark days are getting lighter, love is in the air and Floriole has news and new menu items to share with you.

National Chocolate Souffle Day is February 28th!


Learn something new.

Our next Macaron Class will be Wednesday, February 11th from 6PM-8PM.  This will be a special class featuring heart-shaped macarons to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

This is a beginner level class and will feature a hands-on demo, macaron tasting, beverages and light appetizers.

The class takes place in our kitchen, so space is limited.  Price is $80 per person.

To sign up, please call the cafe at 773.883.1313 or email us at

heart shaped macaron


Sunday Supper at Floriole

We are back on track with our monthly dinner series, Sunday Supper at Floriole. In January we worked with Mark Beier (director of training at Shred 415, chef and creator of Mark Bar) to develop a light and flavorful dinner for anyone trying to stick to their New Year’s resolution. This month we have enlisted Betsy – Floriole baker extraordinaire and real live Italian/Polish pasta maker, to craft a dinner around some of her favorite Italian indulgences.

Sunday February 22nd 6pm-8pm $30

First Course

burrata, fig conserve, arugula, beets

Second Course

lasagne- house made pasta, pork & beef ragu, spinach, bechamel


grapefruit & prosecco granita, pistachio biscotti

Reservations are not required but highly recommended. Call the cafe to reserve 773-883-1313

Please alert staff to any dietary restrictions, intolerance or allergies when reserving so we can make arrangements accommodate the guest.

In March we are working on two Sunday Suppers!

Here is a little sneak peak at what we are planning. Check the website for the finalized menus.

March 8th with Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling

mezze platter, braised broad beans, milk pudding

March 22nd with Jonathan Zaragoza

4 course Mexican inspired feast

We love collaborating with other people and chefs in the the food industry. If you are interested or would like to suggest a collaboration, please send us an email:


What’s new in bread and pastry?

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

The pastry team is focusing on all things chocolate this month. You may remember that for Valentine’s Day in the past, we turned our canele de Bordeaux into a CHOCOLATE canele. . .we decided to do it again for the entire month of February. Chocolate ganache cakes are back to satisfy the true chocolate lovers out there and for Valentine’s day we are combining passion fruit and milk chocolate into a decadent mousse.

For those of you who are not chocolate lovers, Danielle has developed the Floriole version of the religieuse -pate a choux puffs filled with coffee pastry cream and glazed with coffee fondant. And Alexander has made the most delicious concha, a traditional Mexican sweet bread lightly flavored with cinnamon. The concha will be available on the weekends.

We cook savory food too!

What a month it has been on the savory station! We had a major staff turn over but we are starting the month off with a very strong team.  If you see a new face delivering your sandwich be sure to say hello!

Soups on rotation this month are:

  • Moroccan spiced red lentil
  • carrot coconut curry
  • spicy tomato
  • sweet potato ancho

Check the website to find out what is currently on the menu.

Salads this month:

  • rye berry, balsamic marinated figs, toasted walnut, kale
  • celery, parmesan, date, radish, radicchio
  • potato salad, bacon, chives, mustard, cider vinaigrette
  • pimento cheese spread and Floriole house bread

We have a new Winter Salad that is healthy and satisfying with chopped kale in citrus vinaigrette, marinated beets, avocado and sweet and spicy pecans.

The baked egg is now in a nest of creamed spinach topped with crispy bacon and a drizzle of yogurt.


Mathieu’s Coin

Hey all. This is Sandra and I am taking over Mathieu’s coin for the month. He has a mean case of writer’s block and could only come up with an incoherent article about the Interview that was summarily rejected by a number of Floriole employees. So here I am, the more serious and less funny half, trying to think of something clever to share with our readers. As it turns out, I am just going to share a collection of Mathieu quotations as documented by Lisa, Floriole Assistant General Manager. She tags the quotes on her Facebook page with #Mathieusays and I think she could have the beginnings of a funny twitter feed! Here are some outtakes:

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, just say something mean.”

“You know. You could be someone.”

“That’s why I am who am I. No, who I am.”

Lisa: “He’s happy! People get fat when they’re happy.”
Mathieu: “Yeah, and then they get sad because they are fat.”

“Keep your wits to yourself.”

“See? You impatient little beetle?”

Have you overheard a funny #Mathieusays? The first reader to respond with one of his infamous quotes will get breakfast on him. Fire away to