Mademoiselle Macaron’s sweet success

Mademoiselle Macaron, founded by Rachel Hanretty, captures the essence of Parisian luxury in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland, with a range of luxury, hand-made macarons.

5th January 2024

Rachel’s journey into French patisserie began a decade ago when she returned to Scotland after completing her studies in Paris. Stumped by the lack of authentic macarons that matched the standards of the French capital and armed with her recipes from the globally recognised Alain Ducasse culinary school, she began making macarons to sell at Edinburgh’s food markets. In need of the practical skills required to grow a business, Rachel contacted Business Gateway for advice and support.

Fast forward to 2023, and Rachel’s sweet treats formed part of an extraordinary order with Warner Brothers, which elevated Mademoiselle Macaron to new heights. Rachel and her team, worked with set designers of the live-action Barbie film to align their macarons with the film’s colour palette. The result was 300 macarons flavoured with rose, raspberry, lemon, orange blossom and caramel, which all featured in the Barbie film.

The Hollywood blockbuster put the brand on the map, igniting a surge in enquiries and corporate sales. Mademoiselle Macaron enjoyed further success as the year progressed, with global events including the Eurovision Song Contest and the King’s Coronation motivating further interest in the brand. Mademoiselle Macaron’s personalised macarons, adorned with Union Jacks, became a highly sought after product as a result.

Behind the scenes, the journey hasn’t been all glitz and glamour, and challenges have been met head-on. Trade sales emerged as a powerful growth driver, although it came with its own unique set of challenges. Diversification has been the key, as Mademoiselle Macaron has expanded its influence across various channels, from e-commerce and white labelling corporate sales to bespoke wedding and wholesale orders, securing renowned brands such as L’Oreal and Revlon as part of its growing client portfolio.

Reflecting on the year, Mademoiselle Macaron can proudly look back on its remarkable achievements:

  • 10 years of making macarons
  • 300 macarons featured in the Barbie movie
  • Over 1 million macarons sold in 2023
  • A team of 17 talented mesdemoiselles and one monsieur
  • One field trip to Paris
  • Maintaining a 4.9 star rating from its customers
  • Attainment of living wage employer status

Reflecting on her involvement with Business Gateway, Rachel Hanretty, Founder of Mademoiselle Macaron, commented: “From day one, I had the guidance of a dedicated Business Gateway adviser which was invaluable in those early stages. Navigating the complexities of creating a digitised website wasn’t as straightforward as it is today. The funding that we secured with the support of Business Gateway led to the second phase of the website development, which enhanced its functionality to allow customers to create their own customised box or build their own tower of macarons.

“My Business Gateway adviser played a key role in keeping me informed about growth opportunities for the business and available funding. When you are so busy in the whirlwind of various responsibilities and tasks, it’s easy to overlook such opportunities, and having a knowledgeable guide was a game-changer.”

Rachel continued: “For strategic financial guidance, we’ve got the support of a part time CFO through the CFO Centre, which has been invaluable. This support has helped shape our strategic thinking. Next year, we will ensure that every decision aligns with our brand’s ethos, which should maintain healthy profit margins and reclaim the brand’s identity.”

“There is lots of help and support out there for businesses. Our collaboration with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service has been particularly impactful. Their expertise guided us in implementing lean manufacturing principles, enhancing our operational efficiency. We also proudly participate in Buy Women Built, a dynamic community that champions female entrepreneurship.”

With a decade of success, Mademoiselle Macaron is poised to continue sweetening the world, one macaron at a time.

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