Baking duo sell macarons with hashtags

Small business LeMinuit Macarons is run entirely through Instagram.

Extra large macaron shells make a “mac cake” with frosting and fresh berries inside.

Franki Hanke, Senior Reporter

Small businesses being entirely online is not necessarily new, but LeMinuit Macarons run by baking duo Phuong Lam and Min Sohn do not even have a website. Instead, they have a handle, @leminuitmacaron where they sell macarons by pre-order.

The business was born out of a hobby.

“I’m a self-taught baker. I just did baking as a hobby,” Sohn said. “I just happened to make this macaron and give it to Phuong.”

Tasting the successful recipe, Lam knew they had something there. After a coworker tried one of the delicate cookies, they wanted the bakers to cater a birthday party.

“That’s where we started to think about how we could make our own macaron and start our business,” Lam said.

Before that success, there was years of trial and error.

“It was a really long process,” Sohn said. “After my first trial, I had to go back and look at myself and try to practice. I had a lot of miserable failures, [but] I did try consistently throughout years and years. Somehow, I finally succeeded last year.”

Even now though, with a recipe that works, every batch requires flexibility and adjustments.

“The environment is an important factor of making this cookie. You have to consider every factor,” Sohn said. “It’s not like a regular cookie. There’s more of an art to it.”

Living in Minnesota, the macarons’ sensitivity to moisture and temperature is especially difficult to manage.

“[Our biggest challenge] is still gonna go back to the weather, we live in Minnesota,” Lam said. “Humidity change, temperature change; it all affects our recipe.”

However, having mastered how to adjust to the cooking environment, Lam and Sohn find that word-of-mouth and their Instagram page are enough to keep the orders coming.

“We feel like Instagram can reach to many more people,” Lam said.

One of the things enticing people is their character-inspired creations.

From smiling chicks, bunnies and carrots for the coming spring to Christmas trees and piglets from holidays past, the LeMinuit page is full of eye candy to encourage people to put in an order.

The inspiration to try character macarons came from Instagram, too. Sohn remembers noticing that Asian macarons more often than the traditional French shops, were making them in varying shapes with more fillings that the common frosting, ganache or chocolate.

“That really inspired me and impressed me with how the macaron can change so much,” Sohn said.

Now, many of their orders are specifically for their macarons, including many people wanting their themed box sets that they create and theme around holidays or seasons. For Easter, they have bunnies, chicks, carrots and hand-painted blossoming tree macarons in carrot cake, banana pudding, leche and cookies & cream flavors.

This month, their monthly flavor is a springy lychee, and Easter box sets are already revealed on their grid. On the horizon are themed boxed sets for Mother’s Day and graduation.

Courtesy of LeMinuit Macarons
Unicorn macarons wait all boxed up to be shipped out.