About Us & Macaron Parlour (as told by Christina)
When we met on Halloween 2009, we could never have imagined that a fateful night in costume could lead to a sweet future. If you knew us circa mid-2009, you would say that the two of us are not compatible and our relationship would have no chance at surviving.
The only reason I went on that first date is because Simon posted on Facebook, "What should I bake today?" Simon meant, "I have 4 cookie doughs I bought from the supermarket in the fridge so which one should I put in the oven?" He didn't tell me that until after that date. But baking brought us together. We didn't realize how much we liked each other until we started to make cookies together.
After dating for a few months, we created Macaron Parlour. A new market (The Hester Street Fair) opened a few blocks from Simon's apartment and we jumped at the chance to follow our dreams. Rather than destroying our relationship, opening a business brought us together. We got married in April 2012 and everyone asks us if we still like each other - in fact, we're happier than ever.
Over the past 4 years, we've grown organically from markets and events to offering shipping, wholesaling, and now, our store. Our first store has been open now for about 14 months and we realize that we love it! Our customers have asked us for another store, and we're in the process of making that happen.
It took a great leap of faith to open our first store at 111 St. Marks Place in Manhattan. The project took us 6 months and cost more than we had anticipated. In the end, we had to cut some corners financially (I can't believe we survived so long with a single tiny oven) as we battled the unexpected (ConEd strike, Superstorm Sandy, etc) and we worked 18 hour days to make it work. Not only did we make it, we decided to do the impossible - do it again.
Originally, we weren't into the idea of opening more stores. We wanted to be a neighborhood bakery and how could we do that if we were in more than one neighborhood?
Eventually, we came to realize that we, Macaron Parlour, create our own environment. We hire right and bring that joy to our customers. With the right people, we can do that anywhere. Our team is so amazing right now that we just need to spread the good word and the good sweets!
How You Can Help!
We're almost there! We found a location and the construction has already started. We could use your help though. There were a lot of things we couldn't afford the first time around and we want to do it right this time.
A large chunk of money is going to buy our espresso machine to expand our coffee program. We think our customers want espresso with their morning muffins!
Another portion will go into our custom display. We got lucky with finding our last one, but our new store is smaller so we need a more compact, efficient case. It's hard to find exactly what you need and sometimes, you think you found something just right, but it turns out that it's in Italy and costs $15,000 and 2 months to ship it over. Let's do this work locally, for less, to our specifications, and in a timely manner! We have the fabricator lined up, the drawing done, and deposit down. Help us pay off the balance! We need one for the store ASAP, and one that we can transport with us to markets (to be done by April, when market season starts up again).
To keep up with the demand of two stores, we're going to have to invest in a walk-in freezer. We've been renting freezer space from our friends, but we really need one of our own. We have the space so we're ready to make the move and get the freezer.
Risks and challenges
We had a lot of timing delays our first go around. An unexpected ConEd (our utility company) strike left us unable to upgrade our power needs to run our business for 8 weeks. We had trouble finding a replacement display case after our first fabricator fell through about 6 weeks after we put down the deposit. Even after we opened, we had our own challenges. Less than three weeks after opening, Superstorm Sandy left us with a blackout that lasted 4.5 days. While we felt emotionally devastated, we plowed through.
We know that the unexpected happens. For us, it delays things, but it doesn't defeat us. Construction has started on our second store so we're in high hopes that the unexpected won't hold us back by more than a few weeks. We hope you can understand that. But since we already have our first store up and running, we can still send you your great gifts!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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