by Stefanie Powers
Who doesn’t love macarons? These delightful confections are soaring in popularity. While associated with France, the word macaron is derived from the Italian word maccherone. It is believed that the macaron’s origins are in Italy, as they were reportedly being made in Venetian monasteries as early as the 8th century. Sixteenth-century Italian cookbooks mention almond biscuits that closely resemble macarons. In 1533, they were brought to France by Florentine noblewoman Catherine di Medici, who married the future king of France, King Henri II.
However, early macarons were nothing like what we enjoy today. They were simple cookies made of sugar, almond flour and egg whites that were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Present-day macarons are made of meringue and almond flour, usually with a buttercream or jam filling. And they are scrumptious!
So where can you satisfy your macaron fix in Southwest Louisiana? Check out Le Macarons French Pastries in the Prien Lake Mall. They opened on Valentine’s Day of this year, and owners Lindsay and Fred LeBleu say the response has been “fantastic.” Lindsay LeBleu explains how they came to be franchise owners.
My husband and I had our third child, a little boy, five days after Hurricane Laura hit,” she recalls. “I had to deliver in Baton Rouge because of the hurricane. We ended up living there for about three months after the storm. After living in a city with so many options of things to do and eat, we realized we wanted to be a part of the Come Back for SWLA.”
LeBleu says they started praying about how they could fulfill this dream. “After several months of going back and forth to Houston to get away from the storm damage in Lake Charles, it hit us that every time we were in Houston, our girls’ requested macarons and that we needed Le Macaron French Pastries in Lake Charles.”
Before long, they were flying to Florida to purchase the franchise rights for both Lake Charles AND Baton Rouge – and the rest is history. They opened the Baton Rouge store in November 2021 in the Mall of Louisiana, with Lake Charles following a few months later. And business is booming.
LeBleu says there are many flavors to choose from, such as salted caramel, Madagascar white vanilla and chocolate praline. Popular favorites are red velvet and birthday cake. “For Mother’s Day, we sold many gift boxes of macarons. It was refreshing to see the kids come to the cart excited to purchase some goodies for their mom.”
Along with macarons, they currently offer fine chocolates. But all that will change once they move to their new café location. “We’re moving to 2020 Country Club Road in mid-to-late August,” LeBleu says. “We will offer tarts, cakes, Napoleons, eclairs, coffee, gelato and much more!
The LeBleu’s have catered weddings, anniversaries and baby showers, and they create corporate gifts. Delivery available with Doordash. They also offer free delivery with their catering.
Le Macaron Lake Charles, Prien Lake Mall, email@example.com, lemacaron-us.com, find them on Facebook.