Keeping the family business running in Edmonds

After his father’s aneurysm, 18-year-old steps up at Ganache
By Jonathan Garelick | Jun 17, 2018
Courtesy of: Jonathan Garelick Richard Kulakevich, 18, is keeping the business running at Ganache on Main Street in Edmonds

Remember what you were doing at 18?

Chances are it wasn’t owning and running a small business. But for Snohomish County resident Richard Kulakevich, it’s a piece of cake.

Richard, born in Latvia, immigrated with his family in 2010 to seek greater opportunity in the United States. Together, his family baked cakes out of their garage and delivered them to local businesses. Their endeavor took off.

Soon after, his father, Nikolai Kulakevich, opened a retail location called Crema de la Crema Bakery in Mountlake Terrace. The bakery found moderate success, but Richard says its warehouse location resulted in limited foot traffic.

Eventually, Crema de la Crema, seeking a better location, moved into downtown Edmonds at 407 Main St. in July 2017 with a new name: Ganache Patisserie and Café. It was named after the whipped filling used in the Kulakevich’s desserts.

Tragically, on a family cruise to Jamaica in October, Nikolai Kulakevich suffered a brain aneurysm and was airlifted to Florida for treatment, where he remains. The rest of his family moved to Florida as well, but Richard stayed to run the business, which he has done since his 18th birthday, also in October.

Richard’s bakery serves a wide variety of baked goods, including eclairs, croissants, tiramisu, and cakes. His favorite to bake is the eclair, an oblong pastry made of choux dough and filled with custard.

“There is a really specific science and temperature that has to be kept throughout the process,” Richard said. “I just really like the whole entire complexity of it.”

His rigorous baking method pays off – it is delicious. His favorite is the Napoleon, a French pastry made of layers of puff pastry and cream.

“It’s quite basic, but I really enjoy it,” he said, although he adds he’s careful not to overdo it. “I try not to eat a lot of the things I make here too often. They taste really good – it’s quite tempting.”

Richard admits that, looking ahead, he wants to spend more time with his family in Florida.

“I really miss living with my family. I live here by myself, and it’s difficult.”

No doubt his passion for baking will continue to flourish. He has a particular interest in wedding cakes.

“Making wedding cakes is a really artistic skill. The fondant cakes are really enjoyable.”

The Kulakevich family has created a series of videos about Nikolai Kulakevich’s progress after suffering a stroke. Go to bit.ly/2K10yVe.

 

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