How one social enterprise owner is changing the world a single macaroon at a time
With only 500 in startup capital, but invaluable access to a vibrant community of entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator programme, Rosie Ginday’s social enterprise has been able to attract the attention of high-profile names from Adidas to Goldman Sachs.
Ginday created Miss Macaroon five years ago, and was planning to celebrate the company’s anniversary with a macaroon birthday cake when she spoke to Business Advice. Her company is the only patisserie in the world able to match macaroons to a Panatone shade with a variance of under four per cent, but is also committed to making a difference to the lives of young people, and its founder is as proud of its mission as she is of the product quality.
miss Macaroon is passionate about providing only the very best quality, hand-crafted, premium macaroons, she told Business Advice. The sweet treats are sold directly to customers where they are particularly popular the gift market as well as in branded forms to other businesses for PR and marketing events.
The products have been popular amongst corporate clients including Santander, Experian and ITV due to the colour matching service Ginday can provide, and the skilled patisserie chefs that the company trains to expertly recreate corporate logos on the top of the delicate pastries.
And behind the skilled designs the staff are able to produce is an equally impressive social enterprise mission. Ginday explained: At Miss Macaroon, indulgence is also a virtue as our social enterprise activities are supported through every macaroon we sell.
we provide employment and training programmes aimed at unemployed youngsters who may have slipped through the education system, are care leavers or have been homeless. This adds an entirely new and unique flavour to our macaroons, and one that can truly be savoured and enjoyed beyond the mere eating of the product itself.
The company provides training, work experience and ongoing mentoring to the young people who take part in the Macaroons that Make A Difference? (MacsMAD) programme. Ginday explained that the benefits to those involved go beyond the workplace: As well as career opportunities, the setting and achieving of small goals increases their self-belief and ensures that the young people we work with can build a future for themselves.
For her, seeing young people flourish in what is a highly competitive industry? and work confidently and diligently in the pressurised environment of a professional kitchen is the most rewarding thing about running Miss Macaroon.
for me, the biggest single achievement has been employing one of my trainees who never worked in a kitchen before. He competes alongside professionals as a result of the structured work based training and being pushed to perform to our quality, wastage and efficiency standards, and because he believes in himself and pushes himself to be the best he is succeeding.
Miss Macaroon’s founder believes that personally being surrounded by the right people has also been key to her enterprise’s success. The support I received from mentors, business advisors and the staff at University College Birmingham, where I trained to be a chef, was invaluable when I was getting started, she explained, and emphasised the support that she has received as her company has grown with the help of the Entrepreneurial Spark programme.
In the early days of the business, when Ginday was working part time on the idea while also working as a professional pastry chef, instructors at her alma mater gave Ginday free reign of the college kitchens on her days off so that she could produce the quantity of macaroons she wanted to. Throughout her first year of training, the college also allowed her to use the same facilities to conduct the pilot versions of those training programmes which are key to the company’s social enterprise purpose.
Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.
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