Inspired by the great French pâtisserie houses, Patrick Macarons & Pâtisserie bring the tantalising array of refined flavours of France to you. In particular, we are talking about the increasing popularity of serving macarons at weddings.
Macaron Towers are a fun, vibrant and contemporary alternative to a traditional wedding cake and cute mini boxes of macarons make perfect wedding favours for your guests.
We love the fact that macarons can be produced in virtually any colour and shade, so matching your macaron tower colours to your wedding theme shouldn’t be a problem. The range of flavours that you can order your macaons in is also vast, so there really should be something to suit everyone’s palette.
Over to Tony now for his engaging tale of the path that led towards his successful business and how he has adopted the affectionate title of “The Macaron Man.”
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
I am Tony Patrick, 53 years old and live in Anlaby, East Yorkshire with my wife Jane. I am the Macaron making principal of Patrick Macarons and Patisserie which is all run from my home kitchen.
What motivated you to start your business?
My story is quite a long one but is based primarily around being a show off! I originally trained as a production designer in the Museums and Exhibitions industry as a route away from the building trade which my Father and brother were heavily involved in. Having had the privilege of working on some of the finest visitor attractions in Britain and abroad, when CAD design became more prevalent, I as a drawing board man, decided that the design world was no longer really the place for me. I blew the dust of my tools and went back into building with my brother!!
I knew I needed something to take me into older age, after all, I didn’t want to be carrying kitchens up flights of stairs into my retirement but I didn’t really know what that would be. I went to work for some local builders merchants but in truth I never really liked the hard sell – having been on the other side of the fence so to speak I preferred the honest approach.
I had always been interested in cooking, my mum was a college cook, my eldest brother a baker living in America so I suppose I had the genes. Cooking is actually a passion, a therapy….if you cook you will understand this if not….go straight to the crossword page!!
I would regularly take food into work that I had been working on but one weekend my wife’s sister, Clare had a request. She wanted to have a birthday party which featured ‘proper’ afternoon tea. That was the catalyst I suppose, a show off in his absolute element!!
I created fancies, tartes, delices, a Fraisier, and also lots and lots of delicious macarons. Lots of people said they were fabulous and that I should be doing this commercially – my wife thought I was nuts!!
Friends can be very nice, too nice sometimes which can be unhelpful so I had to get to the actual bones of whether my product was actually any good so a visit to the best restaurant Hull has, 1884 Dock Street Kitchen should do the trick. The Chef/ Patron then was James Allcock who now has his own bistro The Pig & Whistle in Beverley and he took my offerings.
I needed the truth – ‘ Go ahead, be brutal….Ive got big shoulders’ I told him.Less than a week later he rang me, told me none of his chefs could believe that my macarons were made in a non-commercial kitchen and that he would like to place an order.this was a massive step up for me, the best restaurant in Hull wants my stuff and soon many others followed suit.
Soon a regular farmers market stall, other restaurants and deli’s were calling. Since then I have won some food awards for my macarons, a BBC Good Food Show Bursary which saw me in Harrogate 2016 and my culinary hero, Michel Roux Jnr signing the sleeve of my whites and branding my macaron as delicious on twitter!!
I was then asked by the team at Rise Hall, Sarah Beeny’s stunning wedding venue in East Yorkshire to install a display tower full of macarons in the Grand Ballroom.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
My day to day activities really revolve around my restaurant orders and any market stalls or food festivals that are on the horizon. I bake everything to order so that it is as fresh as can be. My website is where I receive any mail orders which are baked that week and sent out on a Thursday, my delivery day.
Summer is all about food festivals and as I am now becoming increasingly aware, it is also wedding season!!
Since my inception in 2014 I have a growing list of wedding appointments and thankfully this is building into a major operation.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
Reader orders….no problem!! I get enquiries all of the time for wedding favours and macaron towers, some with a cake underneath, some with a cake on top!! Can someone order just macarons? Can someone use their own packaging? Can I have the yellow colour but not in Lemon flavour? The answer is nearly always YES!!
I like to think that I go more than the extra mile for weddings. It is such an individual event that the gloves really have to come off and my old career in creativity gets the cobwebs blown off! Anyone ordering from me can expect a very personal experience…It has to be truly bespoke otherwise we are just an off the shelf product!!….as one colleague in this industry continues to remind me…we must find a way to make it happen.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
Being the right fit for a wedding is Paramount. I would rather be upfront and suggest a different company than just go along and the couple be disappointed. Its just too important. From first client liaison, be it email or actual meeting, both of which I do, I think that people inherently know when it ‘feels’ right.
If an element of a creation is not my thing then I have to say so at the forefront. Couples should have EXACTLY what they want.
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
My favourite moments are often the initial meetings – getting the skinny on what people’s ideas are and I’ve had many. I did a beautiful Barcelona themed tower last year which was really all about vibrant colour mixed with bespoke flavours but was fabulously matched to floral displays.
I recently undertook a Caribbean themed wedding tower with a cake underneath complete with tropical fruits and palm trees and early in 2018 I am commissioned to create a macaron tower with a small cake ‘Topper’ for a chef with a Michelin star. It is a real privilege to work alongside such people and be considered an equal.
Meeting Michel Roux and have him like my macarons was, while not wedding related, an absolute pinnacle!!
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
My Award winning, Gluten free macarons are available to order from my website or at markets and food festivals. My inspiration James Allcock at the Pig & Whistle will have other desserts of mine on his menu by the end of the year also.
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
The next 12 months I imagine to be a bit like the last only steadily more of it!! My wedding diary is filling up and the reputation I am garnering is becoming very worthwhile indeed.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I suppose like any cook, we all have a little need to be loved and like to show off – our plate of food or our dessert or our humble macaron is our way of saying ‘look at what I can do – for you’
It says ‘I love you’ and the arena in which to say that for all it is a big one, it is one I feel very much at home in. That is my daily inspiration – This gig is about people, their ideas and desires and how I can impact on them. I love it.
All images courtesy of Patrick Macarons & Pattisserie