- Anthony and Yami Rosemond moved to California in 2017 to set up an online bakery that sold macarons.
- They researched the market before moving, but they already knew they loved the area.
- The state is the world’s largest producer of almonds and there was high demand for French bakery products.
This article is based on a conversation with Anthony Rosemond, owner of the Pastreez macarons business. It has been edited for length and clarity.
My wife and I changed our lives in 2017 to move to California and set up an online macaron business.
We were no strangers to change. Although we were born in France, we lived in Barcelona, Réunion and Martinique for a few years before returning to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu. I worked as an engineer and manager and my wife, Yami, as a HR director.
But Yam and I had always dreamed of living in California after spending our honeymoon in the Golden State in 2010. So we decided to move there.
There’s a business reason why we chose California as well. Our most important ingredient is almond flour, and California produces two-thirds of the world’s almonds.
Before quitting my job and leaving Paris, we needed to understand the French sweets market in the US. We used the Semrush online visibility platform to research the size of the potential market and which competitors are already in the area – and we found that there would be great demand for our products.
The move to California was daunting but also exciting – we had to adapt to a new country, language and market.
When we arrived, we spent three months living and cooking at an Airbnb. We use Meetup to recruit people for focus groups and get feedback on our products. Once we established macarons as our main product, we tested the business – Pastreez – on a small scale, establishing three farmer’s markets a week for a few months. We did this to determine people’s willingness to pay and our most popular flavors.
In June 2017, we started renting a commercial kitchen. But we had to pay by the hour. It was increasingly expensive and difficult to meet the growing demand for our products.
We now have our own physical location in Phelan, Southern California, which allows us to increase our capacity. As an online business we don’t need to be on a busy street and rural areas have lower rents. Customers who order online can pick up their products in person.
Pastreez ships in the US and finding a way to protect our delicate macarons was our biggest challenge. We needed to make sure the macarons arrived fresh and intact, so we adapted our recipe to make them lighter and started shipping them in insulated bubble bags with air cushions.
Many of our customers want a unique gift. We take orders for baby showers, weddings and personalized corporate gifts. We even partnered with
for the “Emily in Paris” macarons. Prices vary, but we charge about $30 for a pack of 12 and $50 for a pack of 24. We’ve sold over 1 million macarons so far.
Since September, we’ve also been selling vacuum-sealed crepes, inspired by Table 87, a New York pizzeria that ships vacuum-sealed pizza slices nationwide. Customers just need to unpack the crepes and place them in the microwave for a few seconds.
It’s still just the two of us working for the business, although we do hire help for specific times, like the holidays. I am responsible for marketing, customer service and order fulfillment, while my wife takes care of the kitchen.
I believe this is part of our success. The fact that with a team of two we can handle all business needs is priceless. We don’t depend on anyone but ourselves.