When it comes to macarons, there’s only one place to head in Edinburgh: Mademoiselle Macaron. Tucked away near the watchful gaze of Edinburgh Castle, it’s here that Rachel Hanretty fills our bellies with the sweetest treats when we’re in need of a pick-me-up – or the perfect wedding favour! Rainbow coloured macarons and perfectly iced patisserie gems adorn the glass cases as you really do “step out of Edinburgh and into Paris”.
So, what is a day in the life of Mademoiselle Macaron herself really like? Rachel talks us through a typical day…
8.00am: I love to get an early start at work and tackle all emails by 10am even if that is optimistic. I find it difficult to do work at home so my usual spot for early morning productivity is Milk by Haymarket or Brew Lab. I met my boyfriend over a breakfast burrito at Milk one morning while going through my to do lists and we like to continue this tradition.
I’m lucky enough to be with someone who also owns a business (Richard Murphy of The Brotique on Queen Street) and little things like working together and running ideas past one another is a fantastic boost to my day. As a small business owner with huge ambitions, it can be a bit scary to throw caution to the wind and keep on running with an idea on my own so having someone by my side who is doing that too is very reassuring.
10.00am: The shop and cafe doesn’t open until 11 but at 10 we are packing up orders that have come through overnight from our website.
We will also be prepping orders going out to weddings or other special events. This involves a lot of tying ribbons around boxes and bags for wedding favours or sorting colour schemes of macarons to match a bride’s theme for her wedding.
We have recently started to do stencilling on macarons and the biggest order that came through recently was 500 macarons with bespoke stencils of the bride and groom’s initials in gold glitter on each macarons. It was a lot of work but the end result was stunning.
12.00pm: At lunchtime we start to fill up with orders for crepes so I tend to jump into the front and help with coffee orders and customer enquiries. One of the biggest reasons I went into business was because I love people and sitting behind a desk was never going to give me enough of that so serving customers is something I’m aways keen on (even if it does take me away from those emails).
2.00pm: Come the afternoon I will either have scheduled meetings with our web developer (we are in the middle of relaunching) or I’ll sit down with Kat who is our new marketing and business development fairy godmother. The business is growing quite quickly. having started in my flat, so we are focusing strongly on creating flawless systems to track our private orders and work with our wholesale customers.
If I’m not sitting down for a meeting I’ll be in my little Nissan Figaro car driving to Harvey Nichols to drop off their order of macarons for the week and other delis in town like Henri’s in Stockbridge and Karine’s in Morningside.
5.00pm: As the day starts to wind down I’ll check in with the guys in the kitchen and lend a hand with piping the fillings onto the macaron shells or matching up the macarons so that each shell has the perfect partner.
6.30pm: The shop is now closed and it’s home time. Alternatively it will be time for me to lead the macaron classes we run twice a month which are always good fun. And I’ll have had my fourth or fifth coffee.
11.30pm: A last minute look at my to do lists before bed and then the whole thing starts again in a few hours.
Thank you to superstar photographer Ellie Morag for providing these amazing images of Rachel for us! All images © Ellie Morag Photography.