After a long career in real estate, Stephanie Ebers was eager to try something new when she and her partner, Reggie Thompson, visited a pastry shop in Winter Park, Florida.
Ebers had found her new business.
The shop was Le Macaron, a franchised French pastry shop offering macarons, chocolates, eclairs, gelato and more. Now, a year after signing a franchise agreement and working through the local permitting process, Ebers and Thompson are open for business and preparing for the grand opening celebration of their own Le Macaron location in The Shoppes at Ponte Vedra, 330 A1A North. To be held Saturday, March 11, the celebration will feature face painting, balloon animals and other family-friendly activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. From 4 to 7 p.m., the event will feature a ribbon-cutting, music, a mime and more.
“We hope everyone will come out and join us,” said Ebers, who added that the Sarasota-based Le Macaron currently has 42 locations. Thirty-five of those are in Florida, with the remaining locations in California, Arizona and Puerto Rico.
“We are the first Americans to get a franchise,” she noted.
As the name implies, Le Macaron’s signature offering is the naturally gluten-free macaron – a sandwich-type cookie made of almond flour and filled with meringue. With flavors ranging from raspberry and strawberry kiwi to Belgian chocolate and Earl Grey, the cookies may be purchased individually or in boxes of six, nine, 12 or 20. Dairy-free options filled with jam instead of meringue are also available.
In addition to macarons, the shop also offers an assortment of French gelatos, eclairs, pastries and chocolates along with a breakfast menu featuring fresh baked croissants, waffles, crepes, coffee, espresso and more.
“A lot of local business people have been coming in for coffee in the morning,” Ebers said of the brightly colored shop that offers indoor seating for 24 and an outdoor patio that accommodates 20. “We’re from Ponte Vedra and we wanted to offer a good meeting place. We want people to come in, sit and hang with us.”
As she prepares for the official grand opening, Ebers said she is savoring her new venture.
“It’s just a lot of fun, it has a good vibe,” she said. “Real estate can be very stressful, but this has been lovely.”Located in The Shoppes at Ponte Vedra, Le Macaron French Pastries is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.