- Anthony and Yami Rosemond moved to California in 2017 to start an online bakery selling macaroons.
- They researched the market before moving, but already knew they liked the area.
- The state is the largest almond producer in the world and there was a strong demand for French baked goods.
This article is based on a conversation with Anthony Rosemond, owner of the Pastreez macaron company. It has been edited for length and clarity.
My wife and I uprooted our lives in 2017 to move to California and start an online business selling macarons.
We were no strangers to moving. Although we were born in France, we lived for a few years in Barcelona, Reunion and Martinique before returning to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu. I had worked as an engineer and manager and my wife, Yami, as a human resources manager.
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 is also a business reason why we chose California. Our most important ingredient is almond flour, and California produces two-thirds of the world’s almonds.
Before quitting our jobs and leaving Paris, we needed to understand the French pastry market in the United States. We used the online visibility platform Semrush to research the size of the potential market and the competitors already in the area – and found that there would be huge demand for our products.
Moving to California was scary but also exciting – we had to adapt to a new country, a new language and a new market.
When we arrived we spent three months living and cooking in an Airbnb. We used Meetup to recruit people for focus groups and get feedback on our products. Once we decided on macaroons as our flagship product, we tested the company – Pastreez – on a small scale by setting up shop at three farmers’ 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 out a commercial kitchen. But we had to pay on time. 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, however, pick up their products in person.
Pastreez ships all over the United States and finding a way to protect our delicate macaroons was our biggest challenge. We needed to make sure the macarons arrived fresh and undamaged, 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” macaroons. Prices vary but we charge around $30 for a pack of 12 and $50 for 24. We have sold over a million macaroons so far.
Since September, we’ve also been selling sous vide pancakes, inspired by Table 87, a New York pizzeria that ships sous vide pizza slices nationwide. Customers simply take the pancakes out of the packaging and microwave them for a few seconds.
There are still only two of us working for the company, although we hire help for specific seasons like holidays. I take care of marketing, customer service and order fulfillment, while my wife takes care of the kitchen.
I believe that is part of our success. The fact that with a team of two we can handle all the needs of the business is priceless. We don’t depend on anyone but ourselves.