Archive for November 26th, 2012

November 26, 2012

Taste the Rainbow: Dana’s Bakery

I tasted my first Dana’s Bakery macaron over the summer and I remember thinking, “I hate macarons.  These can’t be macarons.  These are delicious.  They’re chewy, not flaky.  The flavors are fun, not fancy.  These can’t be macarons.

I guess that’s why Dana’s slogan is “Not Your Ordinary Macaron“, because, well, it isn’t!

Fast forward three short months later and Miss Dana has built her very own macaron monopoly.  Dana appreciates all the success that has come her way and she isn’t taking a single moment for granted.  She’s hardworking, down to earth and just hilarious.

Learn more about Dana and her macaron monopoly below, and be sure to check out our feature in Sweet Lemon and place your own order of macarons today in order to receive one free dozen!

I feel like you literally just launched Dana’s Bakery and suddenly I started seeing your brand everywhere!  Talk about an overnight success!  Tell us about the process.  Was it as easy as it looks?

It does feel that way, doesn’t it? It’s definitely been a work in progress.  Lots of long nights, early mornings and weekends. Owning a business goes beyond the full time job requirement but it’s worth it. More than worth it. 

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

As the business grows we are faced with new challenges. I literally take each day as it comes, as each day brings something new to the table. At first it was creating the menu, then it was all about designing the website and building the backend structure of how everything would work.  Now that the foundation is strong, it’s all about managing the production schedule and handling the business. Next month I am sure it will be something else.

Tell us what it’s like in Dana’s kitchen…

It’s a fun creative working atmosphere where everyone is free to bounce ideas off each other. We work hard, but have a great time while doing it…  I just asked my staff this question and they said, “not everyone wakes up in the morning excited to go to work, like we do”.  And… I just melted.

How large is the DB team?

We are up to 7 employees and growing fast!

It’s all about the details when it comes to branding and you have mastered those details… all the way down to those adorable little tote bags.  I have to tell you that I use mine all the time!  What are some other things that you think about when starting your own business?

 I’m so glad you love our totes, they are environmentally friendly and can be used to hold everything and anything! Our little purple bags are taking over the city! 

You need to take everything into consideration. The way your product tastes, the way it looks and how it’s displayed.  Also, how well does it travel? What can be done to make the experience and package more enjoyable for your customers so they not only come back but recommend you to their friends?  A lot of thought went into the design and packaging, but I think it’s just as important as having your product taste good.  If it doesn’t look good, no one will want to eat it! 

 Do you see yourself opening your own shop?  If so, where is your dream location?

 A shop is definitely in the near future. First location will be in NYC (of course) and then Los Angeles. My two favorite cities! 

When did you first realize that you made it BIG?

I feel so lucky to have had such success with something I am so passionate about. I pinch myself, daily.

How did you eventually work up the courage to pursue your dream?

If I was going to take this leap of faith, I had to do it in a structured way. I decided to enroll in the night/weekend program for Pastry and Baking Arts at the Institute of Culinary Education. I also landed a job as a pastry cook for Abe & Arthurs in the Meatpacking district and worked there during the day. 

I knew that I wanted to double up, get the work experience along with the formal training at school so when I graduated I could move full steem ahead. I had my plan and structure.

Why macarons?

Clearly I am a visual person, and macarons are just SO pretty. Not only are they pretty but they have the most distinct and unique texture. All of my favorite things rolled into one!  

Macarons have always been popular in Europe, but are now making their way to the states. I was surprised by the lack of variety in flavors that were available.  French themed rose and lavender treats just weren’t my thing. I figured we live in America – why not make some American inspired macarons?! Cookie Dough, Fruity Cereal, Thin Mint and Birthday cake to name a few. The concept for Dana’s Bakery was created!

Where do you see Dana’s Bakery in 5 years?

Global Domination.

When you actually do have some downtime, what can we find you doing?

Having dinner parties.  I LOVE to entertain.  I’m also a huge lover of music. My taste runs across the board from metal to hip hop and everything in between – I go to shows and concerts often. I also have a very public obsession with karaoke. I don’t even need drinks… just hand me the mic and you won’t get it back for the rest of the night.  

Give us a glimpse into your day-to-day…

Each day is different, some days im in the kitchen creating new fun and innovative flavors. Other days im running around to meetings or networking.  The business certainly keeps me on my feet!

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a lawyer, not sure why but it seemed so cool at the time!