Stockist Spotlight: Medici Macarons

MACARON ANYONE?


Please introduce yourself to my readers – who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lynne Burns. I am 52 years old with 2 grown up kids. I got married 13 years ago to the
wonderful Ian and we live in Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge West Yorkshire with our cat Dino.

I am a macaronier (a posh way of saying I make macarons!). A macaron is a French patisserie item. It is an almond meringue sandwiched together with either buttercream, chocolate ganache or jam. Although many people in the UK call macarons macaroons I prefer to keep to its French name. Also to me a macaroon is made with egg whites and coconut and is completely different.

I am a self taught home baker and spend as much time washing up as making macarons!I supply macarons towers and macaron wedding favours primarily across Yorkshire, but I am looking to expand in to Lancashire, the North West and Cheshire.

 When did Medici Macarons get started as a business and what were the main ideas behind setting the business up?
I gave up work in Feb 2012 as a freelancer working in the community and voluntary sector. After many years doing the same work I wanted a complete change in career and decided to become a baker!

My initial plan was to make ‘mini cakes’ to sell at the local farmers markets. I spent a considerable amount of time looking for mini cake recipes when one day I came across the macaron. It’s not quite a mini cake but it was small and I thought it would work well. The recipe said ‘difficult’ and I thought ‘it can’t be that difficult’. Oh dear that was one big understatement. On the morning of my 14 attempt I said to my husband ‘if it doesn’t work today I am going to give up – I am going to admit defeat’. Luckily on that day (10th2012) I produced my very first perfect macarons.

I thought I was obsessed with macarons before I made my first successful one – but once I started making those exquisite little almond meringue discs the obsession just increased and now making them has become my passion and of course my job (I gave up on making cakes!)

Why did you decide to enter the wedding industry?

During the end of 2014 I was lucky enough to attend some fantastic free local business workshops provided by my local council. These workshops really focused my mind on the business and I had quite a few ‘light bulb’ moments. One of those was to concentrate on making macarons for bigger events – primarily weddings but also parties, corporate do’s rather than doing farmers markets and individual sales. In April 2014 I launched Medici Macarons.

What inspires you as a macaronier?
I just love macarons - I love their colours, I love their taste, I love thinking about new colour and flavour combinations. But for me the attraction of doing weddings is they provide a source of endless creativity, especially in terms of their display – whether it’s be a wonderful and dramatic wedding tower dressed with flowers or a beautiful favour box.There is something very special too about being given the opportunity to be involved in a couple’s wedding - I feel so lucky and so privileged to play my small part in their happy day .

Macarons have really taken off over the last few years and people are getting more and more creative with flavours! Could you tell us some of your favourties?
I do love making all the traditional French macaron flavours like pistachio and vanilla but my real love is using local and seasonal fruit. That’s what makes my macarons taste that little bit extra special. I use what grows around where I live – this might be from foraging in the hedgerows for blackberries or on the moorland for bilberries. But I also use fruit from my own garden and I am also a voracious taker of friend's surplus fruit too. I make my own jams and jellies - usually with a little less sugar to intensify the fruity flavour. These are then mixed with the buttercream - but I also then add a secret centre of pure jam so the eater gets a hidden burst of extra fruitiness. I believe it is the intensity of the freshly picked, local produce (almost no food miles - just maybe a few boot miles and definitely no time delay from picking to preserving) that set my macarons apart and make them that little bit extra special. I just don't think you can get the same flavour from mass produced, commercial jams.

There are so many flavours that I adore but my favourite has to be rhubarb and custard – it has a secreet centre of homemade rhubarb jam and it’s the perfect balance of tart fruitiness and vanilla custardy creaminess!

Can you talk us through the bespoke service at Medici Macarons?
I love creating new flavours and that is what inspired me to offer a bespoke service. Many brides- to- be are happy with the flavour range I offer but some want something a little different. My most recent request was for a peanut butter and jelly macaron as a surprise for an American groom. It will normally take me a few attempts on a new flavour to get it spot on but that is part of the creative process and a part that I most enjoy. I am open to any request – it seems that savoury macarons are becoming quite the fashion – I haven’t made any yet so I am open to invitation.

 Do you have any projects in the pipeline that you would like to share with us? 
I am very excited about a prospective wedding photo shoot with Sophie from Pompom Blossom https://www.facebook.com/pompomblossom . Like me Sophie makes wonderful handcrafted creations – except hers are made of hand-dyed tissue.

I also have lots of ideas of making different types of macaron towers – an idea that I have been thinking about for a time is making a steam punk inspired macaron tower – on the opposite extreme I am also planning a pink candyfloss macaron tower with a pink tutu! All for fun – but that’s what makes this so wonderful – being able to be creative and to inspire brides and grooms to be.

What are you hoping to achieve in 2015?
As I live on the Yorkshire/Lancashire border -I am really hoping that my business expands in to Lancashire, Cheshire and the North West. But most of all I want to continue my creative journey and make exquisite, wonderful tasting macarons that will surprise and delight.

 Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of setting up their own business in the wedding industry?
Two things:

1. Make sure you write a business plan and be realistic about the costs and potential income – a new business takes time to become established.

2. There are lots of free opportunities to market yourself – through blog features like this one, magazine editorials, free online wedding directories and of course the big world of social media. I think it’s very easy to end up spending a LOT of money on advertising so please choose carefully.



Many thanks and credit to photographers Colin Murdoch Studio (Coral Macaroons/Tower shoots) and Jade Smith.

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