Culinary entrepreneur whisks up more Parisian delights


An Edinburgh business that brought a taste of Paris to the capital has invested £10,500 in a new manufacturing base that will increase its production of French macarons three-fold to 20k macarons per week.

The manufacturing premises in Stewartfield Industrial Unit will help Mademoiselle Macaron open a further five shops with cafes within the next two years, potentially creating 35 jobs. It will also allow the business to secure further wholesale deals throughout the UK.

Having used advice from Business Gateway Edinburgh to get started in 2013, owner, Rachel Hanretty opened her first shop and café in Grindlay Street the following year. 

The company, which supplies the likes of Harvey Nichols and The Balmoral with its sweet delicacy, saw its web sales rocket by 300% last year after launching a new e-commerce site, and has appeared on celebrity Chef James’ Martin’s TV series ‘Home Comforts’.

Rachel said: “My aim has always been to open more shops and create a clear presence not just in Scotland but across the UK. I also want to develop my own range of merchandise and write a recipe book. The new manufacturing unit helps me get closer to achieving those goals. Getting started was relatively low risk, as I made the macarons at home, but the immediate success of my business made me realise I needed to protect my idea.

“My Business Gateway adviser helped me access specialist legal advice regarding copyrighting and trademarking my brand. He also put me forward to attend a course on outside investment which jumpstarted my thoughts around rapid expansion. His advice and the information I gained on Business Gateway workshops made me think about cash flow and my finances which, ultimately, helped me invest in the new manufacturing unit. I couldn’t put a price on the help Business Gateway has given me”

Evan McLean, Business Gateway, said: “Rachel has set up an award winning business, using our advice to protect her brand, streamline her thinking, and build on her business’ initial success. She has used our support to lay strong foundations that will ultimately help her turn Mademoiselle Macaron into a household name.”

The idea for Mademoiselle Macaron arose when Rachel spent a year in Paris as part of her degree. During her time in the French capital, she learnt to make delicacies at the Alain Ducasse Cookery School. 

On her return she won a business pitch competition, using her winnings to launch her enterprise, initially part-time but within nine months she had given up her job with a not for profit organisation to concentrate on her business full-time.

She said: “When I came home from France my first few attempts at making the macarons were a disaster! I’m glad I persevered as ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites have helped me set up a very successful business.”

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