When Instagram asked for a full-size wall of macaroons to form their logo, Rosie Ginday and her patisserie masterchefs rose to the challenge. So, what’s the secret to this Birmingham business success story?
It is possible to have your cake and eat it – as the success of social enterprise business and macaroon maker extraordinaire, Miss Macaroon, proves. Based in three locations in Birmingham, Miss Macaroon supplies anything between 5,000 and 7,000 of the sweet delights a day in an explosion of flavourings and colourings to top hotels, restaurants and corporate clients, big and small.
This spring, founder and managing director Rosie Ginday and her team are embarking on refitting and enlarging the Miss Macaroon store in Great Western Arcade to allow for a range of exciting new products as well as to create an afternoon tearoom.
Rosie – who trained as a high-end pastry chef at University College Birmingham before working in Michelin-starred Purnell’s restaurant – launched Miss Macaroon in 2011 with the aim of creating wonderful patisserie while also giving long-termed unemployed young people the chance to work and learn in the industry.
Rosie said: “I wanted to create a social enterprise business that combined my passion for premium quality food. I wanted to provide the opportunities for young people seeking a career to build confidence in themselves and give them the opportunity to break into what is a highly competitive industry.”
Miss Macaroon’s MacsMAD (Macaroons that Make A Difference) courses are held over a number of weeks at the business’s training kitchens in Hockley. Macaroon production is based in Aston, where Rosie continues to have a very hands-on role. Miss Macaroon macaroons are no ordinary macaroons. We’re talking state-of-the-art premium treats here. As Rosie explained: “We’ve harnessed art and science to create some of the most modern premium macaroons on the market. Our secret recipe and methodology is scientific in its approach.” Nowhere is this use of technology better illustrated than in Miss Macaroon’s unique Pantone-matching service, normally used in the art and design industry.
“We have created a process that, by utilising a complex algorithm, perfectly matches colour swatches via the RGB and CMYK values,” said Rosie. In other words, you can have your macaroons delivered in pretty much any style and finish you wish. As well as being highly attractive for themed weddings and parties, the service has proved a really huge hit with corporate customers looking for a creative and different way to show-off their branding.
Miss Macaroon has supplied designer and fashion brands such as Karl Largerfeld, Juicy Couture, Adidas, Pandora and Ted Baker and huge corporations like Ernst & Young, Orange, EE, ITV, Santander, Experian and Goldman Sachs – where instantly recognisable logos have been expertly recreating onto hand-crafted macaroons or corporate colours matched via the Pantone system.
Social media giants Facebook, Google and Instagram are also Rosie’s clients – in the case of Instagram Miss Macaroon supplied a full-size wall of macaroons which created a giant Istagram logo for the company’s European marketing meeting. Notable local customers include Aston University who ordered 3,000 celebration macaroons for its students graduation day.
As well as growing the business commercially with more corporate and retail customers, Miss Macaroon is equally committed to pushing on with its help for Birmingham’s disadvantaged youngsters by reinvesting profits to give them a fresh start in life. Last month saw Miss Macaroon hold a major event attended by social entrepreneurs and large corporates and funders to help promote social enterprises more widely. Keynote speakers were led by West Midlands mayor Andy Street and Professor Mark Hart from Aston Centre for Growth.
CHANGE THE WORLD
“I am passionate about creating the perfect macaroon,” said Rosie, “but I am equally as passionate in my desire to help disadvantaged young adults in the local area. The social enterprise ethos of the business is absolutely the key to everything we are and everything we do now and in the future. I want to move as soon as we can to running 10 courses a month at our training kitchen.”
Miss Macaroon says it aims to ‘change the world, one macaroon at a time’. Rosie summed it up: “Through the sale of our premium products, our customers can enjoy self-indulgence while at the same time helping to support those who desperately need a chance in life.” Sweet indeed…