Spotlight in Brampton: Macaronz
For five years now, the chic Macaronz shop in downtown Brampton has ensured that there’s “a touch of France in your backyard.”
Macaronz, the French macaron and dessert shop that’s been providing the city with the decadent and tasty European treats since 2012, is run by Brampton native Zanda Rodriguez—a passionate baker whose calling seemingly found her.
“I was laid off from my job, so I started doing some event planning and coordinating, and that’s how I discovered French macarons,” Rodriguez says.
Rodriguez, who graduated from Humber College’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program, began by distributing her suddenly popular treats to local businesses.
“I have food and beverage training and I made myself learn how to make macarons. One day, I was baking a cake for a company’s 50th anniversary and I gave the board a taste of my first macarons and they really liked them and wanted them as favours.”
Rodriguez, excited by the challenge, set to work on making a whopping 900 macarons for the company, only to have a few batches fall flat.
“The next seven-eight batches were a flop. I did some troubleshooting and figured it out, and everything turned out in the end,” she says.
After that, Rodriguez realized that there were very limited macaron options in Brampton and saw an opportunity. At first, the budding entrepreneur started small, renting space in the kitchen of the Caledon-based Feast Your Eyes Catering company. After that, she rented space in another kitchen and began filling orders for its cafe.
“Through that, I was able to sell at the Farmer’s Market,” she says. “It was a challenge in the beginning. They [macarons] were different, but also quite expensive. Its $2 for a cookie that people don’t know much about. The price has a lot to do with macarons being difficult to make, but we did some sampling at the market and people liked them. Also, MasterChef started using macarons in their challenges, so people who watched it wanted to try them.”
After filling more and more orders, Rodriguez decided it was time to open her own shop.
“When I opened the shop, it was great because people had already seen me at the market. Being the first macaron shop in Brampton definitely helped and macarons were getting more popular on that side of the GTA.”
Over time, the shop that offered over 45 flavours of macaron (and 15 or so on any given day) began to introduce a few other treats to customers.
“I never want to get comfortable, I constantly want to create something. We just stated mini-doughnuts last month. They’re doing really well, we have seven flavours available and I want to have more eventually.”
Aside from macarons, the shop also offers cupcakes, cake pops, profiteroles, eclairs and more. It also offers high tea on Sundays for $25 a person.
While the shop has more than made its mark with walk-in customers, Rodriguez often finds herself preparing large-scale orders for parties, events and even other bakeries.
But regardless of where business is coming from, Rodriguez can’t deny that each year is more exciting than the one before.
“I am thankful because we really do have the best customers in the world. Honestly it really is the truth. Everyone has been so supportive and happy for us. I constantly have sleepless nights just thinking of new ideas and I’m just so excited for the morning to come so we can create something new, fun and yummy for our customers,” she says.
As for what’s on the horizon, Rodriguez says she’s always looking for more treats and flavours to add to the mix.
She’s also getting ready to celebrate National Macaron Day.
We want customers to join us on Monday, March 20 from 10:30 - 5:30 for International Macaron Day and our anniversary!
If people wish us “HAPPY macaronZ Day!”, they get a free macaron on us.
We are collecting canned goods for Ste. Louise Food Bank that day. Customers can donate a canned good and get their name entered into a raffle draw to win a macaronZ $50 Gift Certificate. The winner will be announced at the end of the day.
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