Meet Emily Hymel, the physical therapist and mom who turned her passion of baking macarons into a successful side business here in Baton Rouge! Today, she’s telling us how she got started, how she balances mom-life, work-life and her baking passions. Plus, she’s offering her best tips for starting your own side hustle.
And I think her macarons ended up being the hottest item there!
From that point on, I started sharing my personal love of Crave Macarons with everyone and continued to ask her back to more of our events.
She’s become such the little locally-known baker since then and I’ve very much enjoyed watching her success!
Conrad and I attempted to make our own macarons a few years ago and it was a disaster. And watching her in the kitchen didn’t really make me feel any better — as every macaron came out perfect.
But she did share a few little secrets (like banging the pan on the cabinet to get rid of air pockets and letting them rest a bit before baking) that might help me out next time!
How did you originally get into making macarons?
Emily: I’ve always loved to cook and trying new recipes. After trying and loving macarons at a bakery, I decided to try to recreate them. After several failed attempts, I was determined to perfect them. I researched a lot of the variables that affected making macarons because they can be very finicky and tricky. I finally figured out a recipe that I think makes the perfect macaron. Since then, I’ve been playing with colors, shapes, and flavor combinations.
At what point did you decide this was a business and not just a yummy hobby?
Emily: When I started making macarons, it was just to bring to parties or dinners. Everyone seemed to love them and they make such a great party food since they are small bites. I realized there were not that many places that sold freshly baked macarons at the time, so I decided to try to make a business out of a hobby that I loved.
What are your favorite flavors?
Emily: I experiment with new flavors all of the time so picking one flavor is really tough. Some of my favorite ones include banana split, apple pie, pistachio, and cookie dough. I use all fresh ingredients and develop flavors based on the season and what’s available. I also did a savory goat and blue cheese macaron made with walnuts, pecans, and proscuitto that I thought was perfect for an appetizer for a cocktail party. Developing new flavors is my favorite part of making macarons.
What does a typical day look like for you? Especially making sure there’s time for baking!
Emily: My day starts at 4:30AM. I get to the gym around 5AM, then come home and get kids ready for daycare. Then I start my full time job as a PT. Depending on the orders I have for the week, I usually come home and start a batch of macarons before I get the kids from daycare and finish them up during the evening. I don’t like to be bored so my schedule definitely takes out any chance of boredom! I am a planner so I’ll try to prep all of my ingredients in the morning so the day runs a little smoother and efficiently.
I know you’re really into fitness. How do you balance the two together — making healthy choices AND constantly being around sweets all the time?
Emily: I think life is all about balance. I don’t think you should fully restrict yourself from anything. I love working out and the energy it gives me. It’s also my time that I dedicate to myself. It prepares me mentally and physically for the day and it’s a form of stress relief for me. As much as I love exercise, I love food equally as much. I eat healthy and clean most of the time but I allow myself some indulgences plus there has to be some quality control on the new flavors I test! I think once you have the mindset that it’s not all or nothing then you’ll be able to balance a healthy lifestyle and enjoying life.
What are some cool events you’ve made macarons for?
Emily: Thanks to Baton Rouge Fashion Council, I’ve been able to participate in a lot of fun events that showcase local businesses. I definitely contribute my business growth to these local events!. It’s always fun doing macarons for weddings and when clients have fun ideas that challenge me. I also did the Sweet Summer night for Anna’s Grace Foundation recently that was fun to attend and for a great cause. Kids’ birthday parties are another one of my favorites to make macarons for because I love a good themed party.
What’s in the future for Crave Macarons?
Emily: I’d love to continue growing my macaron business and branch out into other desserts. I would really love to offer healthy dessert/snack options as well to incorporate my love of health and fitness. I’d also like to have my macarons in more local businesses to get more exposure and grow my business as well.
What advice do you have for other ladies who want to turn their hobby into a side job?
Emily: Follow your passion and create a niche for your product or business. Seek out other local business owners for tips and tricks. Research what is already in the market and what you can contribute that may be unique or memorable. I still have so much to learn as far as the business aspect is concerned, but my goal is to keep offering a product that is high quality, homemade, and most importantly delicious and hopefully the rest will follow