When she was growing up in Rockville, Katerina Georgallas, a Greek-American, wasn’t a fan of baklava. (For shame!) Her family’s version of the classic dessert with layers of phyllo and nuts soaked in syrup always seemed too sweet to enjoy, she says.
But a job layoff in 2009 and a desire to start her own food business gave the Silver Spring resident the chance to revisit baklava and ask: What if the syrup could be lightened? Georgallas, who has an interior design degree, began experimenting with different types of honey and added rosemary and lavender plucked from her parents’ garden. Two years later, she launched Baklava Couture and began selling her pastries at local FreshFarm Markets.