With 15 years in the pastry business, a French baker says only in the last few years has the macaron scene exploded.
Since 2011, Sandrine Martin has been baking macarons for International Macaron Day. The event hails from France, and is celebrated with proceeds from the bake sales going to local charities.
Martin, with her team of eight employees at Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate, makes anywhere from 50 to 200 of the colourful treats a day.
“We do everything here for scratch, chocolate cakes, pastries, macarons. We also have savouries, jams made with organic fruit and we do everything in this tiny location,” she said.
Made in house at the store’s location on Dilworth Drive, the pastries are also sold at Urban Fare and at Kelowna General Hospital.
Martin always had a passion for food and comes from a family of chocolatiers, pastry chefs and bakers.
“It came later for me, but I’ve always loved it, more as a customer.”
With two children, who were six at eight when they moved to the Central Okanagan, she said that it’s an easier industry to transition into anywhere in the world.
“You don’t need so much (of) the language at the start,” said Martin.
“We’ve always been doing them, but definitely the sales have been expanding about macarons, but it was not our main item and it’s still not our main item. It’s one of them, but cakes and croissants are our big sellers.”
The biggest challenge she said, was not adjusting the baking to suit Canadian palates, but more the communication of what the products actually were.
“Everything that we do here are things I bake as well in France. There’s nothing I’ve adjusted to the local market,” she said, adding it took time to communicate what certain products were available because some words were foreign to customers.
“Because it’s a unique offer, and the products taste good, they’re quality products and they’re made with love and consistency, I think that’s the key, doing hard work and good work on a daily basis and people keep coming back,” she said.
For first timers, she recommends the macarons and the mille feuilles cake.