5 Questions with… Kawsar Chavez, co-owner of Layered Croissanterie

The owner of Layered Croissanterie has turned a hobby into a delicious full-time job.
As told to Catherine Currin

You may have seen it on Instagram: An extremely photogenic pastry, popping against a bright, crisp space. Layered Croissanterie opened this summer, and has been selling out of their flaky goodies ever since. We chatted with co-owner Kawsar Chavez to find out why croissants?, plus what she thinks we should order on our next visit. 

Mark and Kawsar Chavez with their sons, Finn and Dash

Can you tell me a little bit about your background? What were you up to before this venture?

I was born in Saudi Arabia, but grew up in Statesville, N.C. Some of my fondest memories have been shared over food, most fondly the memories I have with my mom. She taught me a lot about cooking and developed my love for baking. Before Layered ever came along I was an elementary school teacher! I loved working with kids but I found that even after long days of teaching I would come home and bake, bake, bake. Quite honestly I might still be doing that had my husband not pushed me to pursue my dreams to open my own bakery.

Why croissants? How did you decide on the name?

I used to live in an apartment in London that was over a cafe that made some of the best croissants. Every morning I would walk down and get at least one with whatever else I felt like having that day. I know the joy that they brought me and I hope that my croissants do the same for others around Raleigh. 

The name comes from the process of making croissants in which you fold together butter and croissant dough several times to create multiple layers. One of my favorite parts of the process is getting to see a cross-section of the dough once you have folded the butter in. It’s absolutely perfect!

What was your thought process and inspiration when designing the space? 

We wanted to create a space that was super Instagram-able. We love seeing people take pictures of the space and enjoy it as much as we do. We also wanted a space that really showed off the process and the final product. So you’ll see a completely open space in which you can see the whole kitchen. You’ll also see each pastry specially placed on pedestals as if each one is a piece of art. We like to to showcase every step from start to finish.  


Image courtesy Two Roosters

I notice you partnered with Two Roosters for an ice cream flavor…any more collabs in the works?

We did! It was such an awesome “welcome” to the community and so amazing to work with our ice cream heros! We would love to continue to collaborate with other businesses in the area but nothing is in the works… yet. 

What should I order if I’ve never been to Layered? 

Wow, that’s a tough one. If you’re looking for something sweet our Brown Butter Crookie is a MUST. It’s our chocolate croissant stuffed with brown butter cookie dough then baked a second time and drizzled with chocolate and a sprinkle of sea salt.

If you’re wanting some breakfast or lunch, the Egg Danish (caramelized onion, cheddar cheese, egg) or Pesto Chicken (roasted chicken, smoked Gouda, roasted red peppers, pesto) are a couple favorites. 

For hours and more information, visit layeredcroissanterie.com