On Valentine’s Day in 2016, spouses Dane Thibodeaux and Manuel “Manny” Sanchez set up a table outside their California home and posted a sign that read “French macarons” to see if they’d have any luck selling their homemade treats, the classic French cookie that wowed them on a trip to Paris years ago. Within hours, they were sold out of every flavor—chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, lemon, and raspberry—and a business idea was born.
Fast-forward to 2017, when the couple, having met in Hampden years ago, moved back to Baltimore. The duo eventually sold their sweets at farmers’ markets, with sights set on opening a brick-and-mortar shop. The answer to their dreams is Sacré Sucré in Fells Point.
It’s the answer to our dreams, as well.
Buyer beware: Standing in front of the display case can be deeply disorienting just as you think you’ve made up your mind and settled on something, you’ll change it again. We can save you some tsuris. Skip lunch (or dinner) and consider one of everything, working from left to right, as we did. There’s a dense and delicious mile-high brownie glazed with chocolate caramel; a fanciful Almost Spring tea cake; a carnival of color with lemon cake and layers of whipped mascarpone cream and raspberry preserves sandwiched between raspberry macarons; a Manolo petit gateau with coffee mousse, hazelnut cream, and hazelnut dacquoise; and a pistachio cream-filled éclair with its enticing green white chocolate and gold dust glaze.
Also on offer is the robin’s egg blue mirror-glazed Sofia Petit, a layered confection of Earl Grey mousse, almond ganache, and almond praline that deserves placement on a pedestal at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
And while everyone and their mère is doing a macaron these days, these morsels—in a panoply of flavors, including coffee, pistachio, rose, and Mission Fig—rival anything you’d find in France. (Clearly, Baltimoreans agree—the duo sells between 1,200 and 1,500 of the confections a week.)
Beyond the pastry case, there’s a lovely assortment of loose-leaf teas and kombucha, as well as bags of housemade marshmallows strewn with salted caramel or dark chocolate. (Buy both.) Like their well-paired ingredients, Thibodeaux and Sanchez go together perfectly. Thibodeaux attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a passionate cook, while Sanchez, who had a career in cybersecurity, has always been interested in baking.
“I cook really well,” says Thibodeaux. “I know my flavors, but I’m not a measurer—I’m not a precise person, so for me it was really hard to do this. With Manny, it’s two grams, not more, not less. And I’m like, ‘Well, it looks like two grams.’” By any measure, the new bakery is one of Baltimore’s best.