PASTREEZ : A CALIFORNIAN MACARONS SHOP WITH A FRENCH HEART
Yamilka & Anthony Rosemond are the two minds behind Pastreez, a California-based online bakery that is quite the sensation on Instagram, with a community of over 108K followers. The success of their business is undoubtedly the traditional roots of the recipes they execute, mixed with their skills and savviness for the digital world, which makes for a match made in culinary heaven.
Yami, a former Le Cordon Bleu Paris Alumna, explains how the school played an important part in the making of Pastreez as a business, a project she and Anthony pursued passionately. The couple left France and their previous jobs to follow their dreams of having their own bakery, and after opening their shop a year ago (April 2020), you could say that the risk they took is paying off in a very sweet way.Tell us a bit more about your journey with Le Cordon Bleu, how long did you study there? Which campus did you attend? Which specific program/diploma did you take?
: I always loved quality food and pastries. Le Cordon Bleu was one of the best opportunities I ever had. I started Cordon Bleu Paris school in November 2016 in Paris. I spent one month in the special intensive Patisserie program. It was so intense! We worked very hard, Monday to Sunday, day and night. I learned from the best professionals I have ever seen. I was impressed about the recipes I learned every day, new techniques, flavors, textures and so much more.How would you describe your experience at Le Cordon Bleu?
: I had one of the best experiences in my life. Above all, the human experience is what makes it unique. In fact, I can't wait to get back again to take another program! I had an amazing study group, with students from all around the world, different cultures, with many things to share. Today, we still keep a friendship, and we learn new things from each other. There were people from Asia, Brazil, Dubaï.What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary field?
: When I first started culinary school, I wasn't sure about it. Le Cordon Bleu inspired me to jump into this journey. I remember at that moment,I was looking for a business opportunity, something that could make me feel good and happy in my day to day job. With a human resource background, I wanted to turn my professional life into a passion. Something that I could go to everyday with a smile on my face. I visited many culinary schools in Paris. But there was something special about Le Cordon Bleu Paris. The tradition, the people, the kitchen lab with top quality tools... all that makes you feel you are in great hands to improve your knowledge.Anthony
: Yami and I are complementary. She enjoys making wonderful desserts. On my end, I love eCommerce. Together we're the perfect team to develop an online French bakery.Why Pastreez? Tell us a bit about the concept, the idea and the inspiration behind your business.Anthony
: The idea behind Pastreez was to build an Authentic French bakery store online. We make it easy for everyone to order traditional macarons and crepes that ship fresh to your door. While attending farmers markets in Newport Beach, Malibu and Costa Mesa to test the idea on the American market, we noticed customers were always asking, where to find macarons near me, or where to find crepes near me? Pastreez solved that problem. On our website, customers are able to order authentic French macarons and crepes online and ship it fresh anywhere in the US. Most French bakeries are located in big cities, and accept only walk-ins orders. We offer an alternative. In addition, we share a free macarons recipe through our Instagram with videos and best practices. During COVID-19, we also created an online Macarons class to help out fellow bakers worldwide, as a way to stay home while learning how to make macarons.How do you think Le Cordon Bleu helped you in your culinary journey?Anthony
: Le Cordon Bleu Paris is a major milestone in Pastreez success. It gave us the tools and techniques to bake traditional French delicacies. It's also a huge pride to be part of this family. We consider Le Cordon Bleu to be the most prestigious culinary school in the world. It allowed us to strengthen our knowledge of Patisserie and bakery. If you are fond of patisserie and want to improve your skills, Le Cordon Bleu is a no-brainer.What word of advice do you have for those who are interested in pursuing a career in theculinary world?Anthony
: Stop thinking about it and do it. We are the best version of ourselves only when we leave our comfort zone. Over thinking brings stress, and you will end up losing time. Nothing is perfect at first! But step by step you will improve your skills. Many times we thought macarons were not reliable enough to make it a living, because you have to perfect the recipe every single time. And this recipe is one of the most difficult ever! But after sweat, years and months of practice, we are confident with our products. In the culinary world, or in any industry, you need to be passionate about what you are doing. The best way to know if this is good for you, is to test it at a small scale. Become an intern, apprentice, take a culinary class, or anything near the industry you think you love. It will give you a hint on its everyday life. Even more, it will enhance your perception of this industry and unlock your potential.Which is the biggest challenge you encountered while making Pastreez happen andpursuing/creating your own business?
: Getting a reliable recipe that works every time. As we previously said, macarons are a real challenge. It highly depends on temperature, humidity, and so many factors that you can't always control. For example, the recipe on Summer can't be the same as in Winter. Macarons have a taste signature that is crunchy outside, and chewy inside. Cold temperature affects the texture, so it is really important to control all the aspects of the recipe.Anthony
: Staying creative! It's a challenge, but at the same time it is what keeps us running. When you are opening your new business, especially when it's not in your native language and country, you have to constantly adapt to new situations. So we have to create new macarons flavors that are a twist of the traditional, release new products like French crepes, etc. The last challenge we had to date was opening a new French Bakery location in Phelan, California. What an exciting project! Even if Pastreez is a website where anyone can buy macarons online, we wanted to grow and give back to the local community as well. We're now the only French bakery open for pick up in the High Desert of California. It was a challenge because opening a bakery involves many skills and interlocutors. Drawing plans, making tenant improvements, getting the health permit, etc. Adaptability is the key to success.In one word, what do you think when you hear the name Le Cordon Bleu?Yami