Jen Turner and Nicole Raukohl want to create a "macaron experience" when they open their Miam Miam Macaronerie storefront in South Boston, most likely this fall. Turner was behind the now-closed Blue Tierra Chocolate Cafe on West Broadway, and Raukohl, a regular customer, fell in love with the macarons. While the shop is still a few months away, the duo is already baking up a storm, and customers can put in orders for delivery or catch them at upcoming pop-up events. Turner and Raukohl chatted with Eater about why they love macarons, what the store will be like, why Southie's the perfect spot for them, and more.
How did Miam Miam Macaronerie come about?
Nicole Raukohl: Jen is a friend of a friend; I met her at our friend's baby shower. She gave the friend a gorgeous box of chocolates, and that's when I learned about her store, Blue Tierra Chocolates on West Broadway. I said, I have to go there. I became a regular; I tried to get down there as much as possible for the chocolates, and then Jen started making the macarons. I got hooked on the macarons, and so did my husband — they're like crack to him. Then Jen moved over to Bee's Knees Supply Co., and it was harder to get over there, so we didn't see her as much, and we were sad.
I always said to Jen that I wanted to open a little ice cream shop in South Boston — that was my little dream. Jen came to my husband one day while he was at Bee's Knees and asked if I was still interested in opening a store. He said, Of course she is! So Jen came to me and said, I think this macaron thing is really, really going to take off. That was in late September, and we started working on it.
What's special to you about macarons?
Jen Turner: One of my employees actually taught me how to make them. She had lived in Paris when she was younger, and her entire portfolio was pictures of macarons, macaron cakes, and pastries made with macarons. I kind of hired her knowing that I wanted her to teach me how to make them, and I'd never had them before. I loved hers and thought they were delicious. I thought macarons would be perfect on their own, kind of like a cupcake store, but I think they're more delicate. Anything French is classy!
NR: When she started making them at the store, I had heard of them, but I had never to my knowledge had one until then. The texture, the buttercream, that was it. Once I had them there, I started seeking them, and I haven't found one better.
JT: It's a perfect combination. I make them and Nicole gets to try them and tell me if she likes them. If she likes them, then we sell them.
What's your favorite flavor?
JT: I like vanilla bean, which sounds so boring, but it's my favorite.
NR: It's so fresh and so simple. The buttercream on its own is just amazing. I also like the vanilla bean, the white chocolate raspberry...
JT: I like the lemon. Really strong but more sweet than tart. It's really nice.
NR: I just had a lemon one on the way home from Jen's house the other night. I couldn't wait; I was unwrapping it.
How many do you eat per day?
JT: Nicole's afraid to ask for them, so not as many as she should be!
NR: Every time I leave to meet Jen, my husband's like, Can you ask Jen for macarons? Can you get some macarons? I mean, I could eat them literally every day.
JT: I feel like they're sweets — you have a couple, and you're good. And then you go back for more.
NR: But I could literally eat them every day. It hasn't been lost on me yet.
So the shop is going to be entirely macarons? Nothing else?
NR: Literally all macarons.
JT: All macarons. Well, we'll probably do some coffee and tea to accompany that, and maybe chocolates down the line, who knows? There will also be macaron-related desserts, with different types for different seasons. We'll encompass all our favorite types of desserts — but with macarons. And we'll stick to the gluten-free because that's something that's pretty important to people now.
What's the timeline for opening? Can you share the address yet?
JT: We haven't committed to a space specifically yet, but we do have one in mind. We probably won't open until fall, which will be perfect for holidays.
What is the space going to look like?
NR: I think we both have similar tastes. We've looked at Pinterest, we've sent each other things back and forth. We love blue, we love vintage, we love dark wood...
JT: Maybe some Parisian chandeliers, something feminine…
NR: But don't expect a Parisian-style cafe. We'll be uniquely us and will draw upon inspiration from Paris but also New York and L.A. macaron cafes. Our French name simply pays respect to the French macaron and its origin. Also, the design is definitely not going to be modern. And it's not going to be vintage. But something in between.
JT: Vintage chic! But probably somewhat minimal in terms of what we have in there to start.
How often will you be introducing new flavors?
JT: We might do daily specials. I've been to cupcake stores where you know that every Monday is caramelized banana day, for example, so people come in every Monday for that one flavor. Right now, while we don't have the store yet, we're going to do a special flavor once a month.
Why South Boston?
JT: We both live here, and this is where I see myself living long-term, so it would be nice to have a store that's down the street. It makes for a good work/life balance. Plus it's just so cute!
NR: It kind of reminds me of Brooklyn in that it's a part of the city, but it's a neighborhood. People are really friendly, people know your name…
JT: People want to know who you are.
NR: I know all my neighbors. And it's right on the water — beautiful.
JT: And a lot of the stores are family-owned small businesses. It's nice to have all that around you. The people are really loyal.
What are you most excited for with regards to opening the shop?
NR: We're both excited to have a location. I think it's what Boston needs. Ultimately, we want to create a macaron experience that involves all the senses. Ideally it could serve as a space for small events — birthday parties, maybe classes, cocktail parties — an alternative to bars. I think macarons are a great cake alternative, and I think they're very celebratory. Even if it's just like because it's Friday night or something like that. So we do want to have that element where we're doing something. Also I took Jen's French macaron class when she had it at the store, so I think that might be thrown in there - classes.
Also, I think a huge thing is that we can accommodate custom orders. You can call us and ask for a color palette or a different flavor that's off the menu, and we'll try our best to make it work.
JT: We can do things like match colors and make macaron towers. I think dessert tables are really popular now. We'll be able to airbrush the macarons, so we can logos, your initials if you're getting married, all different things. If you can think of it, we can do it.
· Miam Miam Macaronerie [Official Site]
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