Why Macarons are Hot
Bakery franchise opportunities: Demand for global desserts is skyrocketing
The classic French macaron is a special dessert that has been a favorite for centuries. Although the macaron has enjoyed widespread popularity in France since the early 1700s, the cookie’s origins reach back to sixteenth-century Italy and are shrouded in mystery. The Wall Street Journal speculates either that the cookie dates back to a recipe from the Italian Renaissance, or that French monks created the airy cookie in a style that “resembled their own belly buttons.” The Atlantic reports that scholars believe the macaron came to France by way of Catherine De Medici. Whatever the origins of the French macaron, one thing is for sure: it has finally arrived in America. Sales of macarons at Whole Foods are up by 40%, and there has been tremendous Google traffic as customers seek the hard-to-find dessert.
Since the beginning of the decade, the wide majority of the nation’s most widely read and respected newspapers, magazines and intellectual journals have printed lengthy articles heralding the macaron’s rise to prominence in America. In an article titled, “The Dessert We Deserve: How the French Macaron Became American,” The Atlantic reports that as of mid-2014, the French macaron had been referred to as “the new cupcake,” or something to that effect, more than 70 times in the American media. However, unlike the cupcake, which is a trend whose time has passed, the macaron has been popular for centuries, a fact that The Atlantic acknowledges, saying that the macaron has been with us “the whole time.” Given that the internet is making the world ever smaller, Americans have finally been given the tools to broaden their taste horizons.
The Atlantic provides deeper insight into why macarons are having so much success in America:
“On the one hand, you can attribute the American ascendance of the macaron to prettiness (an added bonus, in the age of Instagram) and portability (CIA’s Thomas Vaccaro compares them to the French gateaux de voyage, or little cakes that are meant for traveling) and chewy sweetness,” The Atlantic reports. “You can attribute it to how difficult macarons are to make (being meringue-based, they are sensitive to things like changes in the air’s humidity). You can attribute it to the chemical reaction that transforms flour, eggs, and sugar into air-puffed aspiration.”
Because of the historical importance of the macaron, the cookie’s newfound prominence has been carefully guarded by the American network of food critics and bloggers, which has been quick to criticize brands which fail to capture the macaron in an authentic manner. Woops! macarons, however, have won the acclaim of New York City’s “food-a-rati,” evident in the rave writeups found in The Village Voice, as well as in influential NYC-lifestyle blogs such as The Culture Trip and Refinery29. The success of our macaron franchises led to us being chosen to represent at New York Fashion Week, where our ornate and delicious treats enhanced the latest and greatest in global fashion.
Woops! macarons are done right
Perhaps the rise of artisanal culture has made the macaron the “in” cookie to serve at parties, weddings, office gatherings and as gifts for birthdays and other events. Macarons, though, are also notoriously hard to make, and while liberties are being taken as far as flavor goes, a good macaron is the result of a strict recipe and a firm attention to detail.
A good macaron takes 72 hours to get from the oven to your plate. While macarons are rightly lauded for their beauty, their shells’ beautiful texture and savory meringue flavor are the result of only four natural ingredients: almond flour, air, sugar and eggs. Because the trick to a good macaron is simplicity, a skilled baker can create an endless variety of flavors by only adding a few ingredients, such as fruit jams or chocolate ganache. Once the baking and filling by hand is done, the macarons need to be frozen immediately and can remain frozen for up to six months.
Woops! takes the craft of our macarons seriously. On behalf of our macaron franchises, we made the significant investment to open an artisanal bakery in the heart of New York City. We hired a Belgian-born master pastry chef to create our 20-plus flavors of macarons from an Old World recipe that leaves us plenty of room to innovate. Every macaron is made by hand, using only the finest ingredients. Woops! macarons are both gluten-free and kosher, and they are meant to support our customers’ desire to treat themselves to something decadent without disrupting their healthy lifestyles.
“Macarons have been popular in France for centuries, and we are pleased to be one of the first companies to introduce these special cookies to the American market,” says Tal Avivi, co-founder of the Woops! franchise. “Macarons are very difficult to make, and we offer a really wide variety of flavors in our stores. Macarons are a very fun product, and they are also an extremely affordable indulgence. The difference between macarons and cupcakes is simple: you can be creative with a cupcake, but ultimately you can make a cupcake at home. When you bite into a macaron, there is a sense that you’re eating something very precious, exclusive, and delicate.”
Woops! bakery franchising: Far more than macarons
The Woops! artisanal bakery in New York City produces far more than our classic take on French macarons in more than 20 flavors. We also hand-produce 30 other international desserts — such as Jewish rugelach, French almond croissants and Argentinian alfajor pastries. Our head pastry chef employs authentic European recipes he learned during his tenure in some of Europe’s finest establishments, as well as recipes he discovered during his travels around the world.
The Woops! product offering isn’t limited to sweets. We also feature sandwiches that are simple in concept but huge in flavor — perfect for customers on the go. We have branded coffee and trained baristas who are skilled in creating popular European caffeinated beverages such as cappuccinos.
“There is a reason why we aren’t called Le Macaron,” says Raj Bhatt, co-founder of Woops! franchise. “Our whole purpose for having a bakery in New York City is to stay agile enough to roll with the times. With a bakery, we can stay on the cutting edge of food trends, as well as innovate and better the products that we already have. We can try new things. People will always want a place where they can treat themselves to something decadent, and our bakery will allow our franchisees to have the products their customers want.”