Babes, today we are introducing you to Jen Herter of Macoranage in San Diego. We have had the pleasure of knowing Jen since junior high school and have loved watching her journey from turning her passion into a business. Meet Jen!
BA: Where did you first get the inspiration to start your own business?
J: I’ve always loved business in general which is why I got my degree in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University. However, I knew that in order to start my own business and have it be successful it would have to be something that I was truly passionate about. I’ve always loved cooking and good food, but it wasn’t until after college that I really focused in on pastry. I got inspired by the amazing restaurants in San Diego and watching way too much Food Network so finally I decided I wanted to start a bakery. In order to learn the technique and get the knowledge I would need to run a bakery, I attend The French Pastry School in Chicago. It was at pastry school when I decided to focus on french macarons.
BA: The macarons always look so delicious. Is that just your speciality or do you strictly stick to macarons?
J: Right now I only do macarons. Macarons are tricky to make so I like the challenge and niche market. Plus focusing on just macarons allows me to really play with flavor and designs. We offer macarons a la cart, macaron favors and macaron towers. I’ve always taken the approach that it’s better to do one thing exceptionally well than a bunch of things just average.
BA: What are some challenges you faced starting a company on your own?
J: It’s always a lot more work and a lot more money than you expect it to be. Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out how to get started. It truly has to be a labor of love.
BA: You are based in San Diego but do you have any plans of getting your delicious treats to other areas?
J: We currently serve the San Diego and Temecula area. At this time, there’s more than enough business for me in just these locations!
BA: Where should the fine people of San Diego go to grab some yummy macarons?
J: Because we completely customize the macarons for each order, we focus on weddings and events only. We have a minimum order of 50 macarons or more which includes free delivery within San Diego county. We typically set up a tasting with customers prior to their wedding or event where they can try 5 flavors. At the tasting we discuss more about their wedding/event and the specifics.
BA: Tell us about pastry school? That sounds fun…and dangerous.
J: It was fun and dangerous because you take home everything you make and let me just say, my diet was about 90% carbs and sugar during that time. So of course it was amazing and one of the best experiences of my life. It also didn’t hurt that it was in Chicago so I constantly had friends visit me.
BA: You recently got married. Is your husband your guinea pig for new recipes?
J: Most definitely, although he’s not the best judge because he says “everything you touch turns to gold”. So sweet, but so not true.
BA: Was starting your own company always a dream of yours?
BA: What’s next for you and Macaronage?
J: I plan on continuing to grow my business in the weddings and events markets. I really enjoy working with brides and grooms and it’s such a huge industry.
BA: What are some tricks you use for balancing a busy life?
J: Hahaha I wish I knew. It helps that I really like being busy and I love being creative. Sometimes I do get overwhelmed but I’ve been getting better at saying “no” to things as of late.
BA: Any healthy tips for the rest of us sweets lovers?
J: Everything in moderation. I love sweets and eat dessert every day but I try to limit the portion size of my dessert. That means 1 or 2 macarons instead of 3 or 4. Also, exercise is just a good thing.
BA: What’s your favorite way to pump yourself or turn your mood around?
J: Working out always turns my frown upside down. Also, creative projects in general help me unwind most of the time.
BA: What about your favorite way to wind down?
J: My husband and I love TV. I know that’s not a great thing to admit to but we have a few shows we really enjoy watching together. (BA says this in moderation isn’t such a bad thing!)
BA: Best advice you were ever given?
J: I think my parents really did a good job encouraging me to take educated risks. Do your research and plan first but don’t be afraid to trust your gut. Failing is just a learning experience.
BA: Who is your biggest inspiration?
J: I don’t really have one person that inspires me except for Jesus. I think there are pieces of a lot of great people that inspire me in different ways. I want to take the best qualities from all the great people around me and become that person.
BA: If you could tell all women and girls everywhere one thing, what would it be?
J: You’ve got to be your own biggest fan. You are valuable and talented and full of potential so act like it.
Need some macarons for an event or just some Instagram dessert inspiration? You can check out Macaronage here: