Markos and Atsuko first met in Hiroshima, Japan in 1992. Over the next year or so their paths crisscrossed through Ohio, Alaska, and Seattle, Washington. Atsuko returned home to Japan and began her career as a journalist. Markos stayed in Seattle where he worked as a cook, carpenter, and youth worker. The two stayed in touch until Markos moved to Maine.
In Portland Markos began a career as a Spanish language educator and got involved in community organizing efforts in Portland’s East End. In 2002 he saw a woman resembling Atsuko walking down Temple St in downtown Portland. He rolled down his window and shouted her name, and it was her!
Atsuko had moved to Portland with her husband, and was looking for a career change. She approached James Beard award winner Sam Heyward about teaching her pastry, and went on to a successful career at Fore Street Restaurant, Standard Baking Co. and Miyake Restaurant, as well as consulting at a number of other local restaurants.
Markos had always been amazed at the wonders Atsuko could work with food, whether it was a rich curry sauce whipped up with nothing more than a banana, tub of yogurt, and a seasoning packet over a campfire, or a perfectly roasted pork slow roasted over an oven pilot-light. The two explored opportunities to establish a business over the years, but things did not line up until Markos discovered the old DiPietro’s sandwich shop for sale in 2013.
The building’s 69 year history as an iconic grab-and-go lunch spot offered what the two needed to fuse their vision of a bakery and lunch spot, inspired by favorite flavors from travels, mysterious ingredients from ethnic markets, the surprising sensations of street food, and Atsuko’s passion for traditional French pastry. Ten Ten Pié, a Spanish expression for ‘snack’ was born, where flavors from the four corners of the world meet for your culinary delight.