Mother and daughter produce hand-painted macarons in Porto Alegre
A Babette’s Party is a classic of Danish cinema that was awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1988. A film that may have been simple entertainment on a distant Saturday afternoon for some marked the life of Rove Chishman, 59 years old, mother by Alice Chishman, 19. French cuisine, covered in the audiovisual production, had an impact on the family’s trajectory. It was from this inspiration that the duo decided to explore the patisserie Parisian by making macarons, a small succulent and stuffed cookie made with almond flour. The business ended up being named after the character played by Stéphane Audran: Babette, as Rove was also known in the confectionery business.
Babette Macarons started in 2016 as a mother-daughter, home-made hobby for the family. Rove, or rather Babette, rescued her research vocation as a university professor and pored over books and articles to explore a new area, French confectionery. “I had to learn how to price, know the market, research the competition. This required a lot of determination”, says Babette, proud of having accepted new challenges even though she is consolidated in the educational segment.
She was joined by her youngest daughter, Alice, who was responsible for customizing the macarons due to her artistic emphasis. “Alice has a very refined aesthetic sense. Speaking as a consumer, this has always caught my attention in the confectionery”, says the confectioner. They found, in their new functions, passions camouflaged by the incessant routines in the Arts and Engineering buildings, respectively. Today, Rove prioritizes only production in the kitchen, leaving aside academic matters. Alice, on the other hand, continues to attend college, but sees Babette Macarons as an opportunity to learn and start her professional life. “People value my entrepreneurial side”, says Alice, who also dreams of pursuing a career as an engineer.
Mother and daughter say they face many coexistence challenges when preparing orders, which often demand a large scale, especially when it comes to an event. “Our intimacy ends up being a point, at the same time, positive and negative”, highlights Alice, who sees sincerity as a two-way street when it comes to business. But, in general, they ensure a relaxed atmosphere during the production, taking pride in each other’s work, especially Babette, who, whenever she can, is full of praise for her daughter. “I see a precious opportunity for my daughter, who has been involved in entrepreneurship and has great responsibilities since she was 15. She discovered skills that she didn’t even know she had”, realizes the entrepreneur.
Alice’s technique with pastry brushes and pens is, according to her mother, who always speaks with her eyes shining, the icing on the cake, or rather, on the macaron. Customizations can arise from inspiration from the customers themselves or simply from Alice’s creativity, which starts with doodles on paper and then migrates to cookies. Attention to the smallest detail is maintained in the kitchen so that the macaron is perfect – soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and with a sweet filling just right. “Macaron is the most difficult candy in the confectionery, because it involves a series of issues, ranging from the quality of inputs to climate”, comments Babette. These characteristics make the product, according to them, fit into a luxury category due to the exclusivity and authenticity of macarons.
Babette Macarons offers 14 different flavors of the sweet, the most popular being Belgian chocolate, caramel with fleur de sel and red fruits. The items can be purchased in loose format or in a tower, the latter produced mainly for events. Choosing between a simple or decorated macaron can also affect the price of the items. In the business, 10 units cost R$ 60.00, increasing the value in case of need for a decorated box.
For the future, the family is thinking of, who knows, leaving production at home and going to their own studio, which, they realize, would allow for more organization for the duo, who complain about the need to reconcile the routine at home with that of Babette Macarons.
They highlight, finally, a release for Easter: 8 cm and 16 cm mini pies. Both the macarons and the new product can be ordered via Instagram (@babettemacarons) or via WhatsApp: (51) 99696-3818. Deliveries can be made according to the distance from the Rio Branco neighborhood, where cookies can also be picked up.