For today’s vendor spotlight, we have Kira from Kizzy’s Macarons.
Macarons are a fairly niche product – what made you start making them in particular?
I tried my first macaron back in 2013 at Thierry’s in downtown Vancouver with my sister. I immediately fell in love and even though I was not a baker by any means, I somehow thought I would give making macarons a try. Countless trial and error and creating a recipe that worked for me, and 6 months later ( & a few thousand dollars of equipment and ingredients) I had finally mastered a somewhat successful batch on macarons. From there is just snow-balled, I started to do orders for friends and then added markets into the mix. Then with the help of my Dad we turned an old building on our farm into a commercial kitchen bakeshop, setting specific open hours where I usually always have macarons for purchase and where I can bake countless macarons for orders, markets and wholesale.
What differentiates your macarons from store-bought ones?
When I was first trying out different macarons from various pastry shops and locations, I noticed certain things I liked and didn’t like about each of the different macarons I tried. For me, I was never a fan of super sweet things and didn’t like the way some macarons just mainly consisted of sugar and once bitten into simply dissolved in my mouth. I carried this through into my own recipe, cutting down on the icing sugar in the recipe and using more almond flour instead. It definitely makes for a trickier macaron to bake, but the results are so much more satisfying! I always bake fresh for my markets and orders, this enables the macarons to last longer and if kept refrigerated they can last up to (if not longer ) than 7 days!
We noticed that you have started bringing produce to farmers markets in addition to your usual macarons. What prompted this change?
Not only do I have a little bake shop but we are also located on 7 acres. I grew up half of my life in a tiny little village, in the countryside of England. I have always been a country girl and love my animals and farm life. I met my better half Winston (Son of Fe- Never say die nursery) at the Farmers markets and now we are making use of the land we live on, to grow unique produce for the markets and customers. Its definitely hard work running two businesses, but everyone needs to eat, and the amount of support for local farmers and agriculture is outstanding and so rewarding.
What do you enjoy the most about selling at farmers markets?
The wonderful smiles, conversations and relationships with customers and vendors you build is incredible. I can be so tired at 8 am on a Sunday morning after pulling 16 hours days and once the market opens and the market atmosphere is thriving, it is one of the best feelings in the world.
Why is growing local important to you?
There is nothing better we can do for our planet than to grow our own produce in the area we live in. Providing locally grown food to the people in our towns and cities brings communities together, educates everyone and makes for a healthier lifestyle. The support for local farmers and businesses is so important in the world we live in today and it creates such a big impact on the world around us.
You have recently started bringing vegetables to the market in addition to your signature macarons. How did you get into farming, and how long has the process taken from the beginning to now?
Although we were growing last year, this year we started bringing our produce to market and it has been an incredible eye-opener. It’s wonderful to see not only returning customers for my macarons but how the majority of customers who come to the markets are there to support local farmers and produce. With Winston’s knowledge and our hard work we have really pulled it together, and to see our gardens flourishing is such an incredible feeling. It has definitely been the longest days I have ever done, not only baking between 2-500 macarons a day then followed by heading outside and maintaining the gardens, harvesting for markets and staying on top of every crop. Every bit of money we have made from the sales of our produce has gone back into the farm. From huge loads of manure, to seed orders and to finally having a walk in cooler, the farm is thriving. We are already planning and prepping for next year, we are even looking into making our first big purchase! A tractor! We cant wait to end the season with a bang and start getting geared up for the next year ahead, with even more utilised land for vegetables, branching out into fruits, huge flower gardens, edible flowers, oh and maybe even a few more animals! (But don’t tell Winston). 🙂
Find Kizzy’s Macarons at our market this week to relieve your sweet tooth, and possibly compensate with some healthy produce on the side!