A Story of Sweet Success
Story and Photography by Lindsay Gifford
Meet the owners:
Co-owners Amy Shippy and Laura Hale consider their boutique bakeries' success divinely inspired. Both with various backgrounds and a love for cooking, they complement one another perfectly as co-owners and entrepreneurs ...and their story is definitely a fun one.
Three years ago, Amy and Laura—best friends of 10 years—co-hosted a cookie swap at Laura's home. Amy confesses she found a macaron recipe online and she hadn't even tasted one before, but they looked pretty and only had a few ingredients. They were a huge hit at the party and in the following days the girls began to explore new flavors. After a positive response with friends and family, they soon found themselves in the macaron business. They happened upon their first location and violá, in March 2012, they opened a macaron store.
What is a Macaron?
A French macaron is a sweet meringue-based cookie made with egg whites, sugar and almond flour. It is filled with either buttercream, chocolate ganache, or preserves.
Amy and Laura love to create complex flavors that have depth and interest. The shell of the macaron rarely changes—except the color—and is a somewhat bland so the filling has to really pack a punch. They aslo strive for imaginative flavors to complement the season or holiday.
Some of their flavors include: cappuccino, salted caramel, vanilla bean, raspberry, chocolate ganache, Meyer lemon, key lime, bourbon pecan and pistachio. All have become staples in their bakeries, while flavors like blackberry lavender, jasmine passion fruit and about 40 others pop up during different seasons. Together they have created over 50 flavors in their three year history.
A Point of Pride:
Amy and Laura both work to create a true depth in each bite of their macarons. Amy's favorite response from customers: "That didn't taste anything like I thought it would" and then they go on to say how great it is. "I love to do all that within a 2-inch diameter," Amy said. They also love creating a visually appealing product that catches attention as soon as you walk through the door.
They are fiercly devoted to making everything from scratch, even grinding their own almond flour. In fact, some weeks they go through over 100 pounds of almonds. Their strong flavor profiles and dedication bring people in time and again, sometimes even detouring from I-95 to drive over for a macaron!
Craziest Flavor Creation:
Black Sesame Wasabi—a one time flavor—but second on the list is Mexican Spice that has become a customer favorite!
The key to baking is accuracy; you have to measure down to the minute, gram and ounce. Also, keep your presentation interesting...it creates desire for your food!
Favorite food Trend:
Amy is excited to see the passion for food that has re-surfaced. People are truly dedicated to using locally-sourced food, well-executed creations and getting back to the basics. In fact, Amy's brother Jonathon Buck is a Sous Chef at Husk in Charleston and they enjoy discussing all the newest trends.
Amy and Laura started their company with only about $800!
Amy is blown away that a visit to their store is on visitor "bucket lists" when they are in Savannah!
Between the three stores and their website, they sell about 35,000 macarons a month!
Get Your Own Sweet Treat:
Ready for your own tasty treat? Stop in to try their current flavors or pre-order for your next event. Marché de Macaron has three convenient locations: Hilton Head Island, 32 Palmetto Bay Road, Suite 3A; Southside of Savannah, 1100 Eisenhower Dr, Suite 28; Downtown Savannah, 42 Abercorn Street.
To order call 843-785-4466 or 912-665-9894 or visit www.marchedemacarons.com.