Inspired by living in Paris for six years, Wanda Hall began a new career – she started a little cookie shop. Les Petits Bisous opened last year on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay in Havre de Grace, Maryland – named by Revolutionary War General Lafayette after the French city Le Havre because it reminded him of the seaport. True Parisian macarons are packaged in elegant little boxes as pretty as the cookies themselves, so Wanda contacted Nashville Wraps to help her create custom packaging.
Les Petits Bisous means “little kisses” in French. These are not the little coconut macaroon cookies many of us are familiar with. The French double decker macarons are delicate meringue wafers made with just egg whites, confectioner’s sugar and almond meal. The cookies are then filled with buttercream, chocolate ganache or preserves to stack together. All of Wanda’s macarons are naturally gluten free and made from scratch from the finest ingredients, staying true to the cookie’s French heritage – unlike other bakeries that might use shortenings, corn syrup, imitation chocolates or even synthetic products to cut corners.
“In France, every bite is appreciated and respected, and eating is a celebration of life!” Wanda explains. “When you eat something of good quality, made from natural ingredients like butter, fresh cream and dark, high-quality chocolate, you’re satisfied with a smaller portion.”
Having the traditional French macaron box was important as Wanda was preparing to open her shop. She explains, “I loved going to my favorite ‘maison de macaron’ in Paris to choose my macarons (like the original French macaron pâtisserie Ladurée). Then they would place them put into a beautiful gift box fashioned that could be offered as a hostess gift, a birthday gift, or a special gift to myself!” The pretty macaron is ideal for weddings and baby showers too.
Wanda contacted almost a dozen American companies because she didn’t want an imported box from China. She was turned down or ignored by all of them because they said making a special sized box that only fit the French macaron was too risky, too difficult or too expensive for them. That was before calling us. Since I handle custom orders that require larger minimums for Nashville Wraps, Wanda was referred to me. We worked together to create the custom macaron boxes that she has now. The boxes are made in the USA with 80% recycled paper content and hold either six or twelve macarons. She wanted them to be both sturdy and pretty. We also did custom shopping bags featuring her colors of powder blue and soft yellow.
“Virtually all of my packaging for the shop comes from Nashville Wraps. The boxes are exactly what I wanted and they honor the customary French macaron box perfectly.” For single macaron orders, Wanda uses our small glassine bags and seals them with a custom printed label from Nashville Wraps. “Customers regularly tell me how pretty my custom printed gift bags and boxes [from Nashville Wraps] are.”
“Les Petits Bisous is a very small business – and it’s only as big as I can grow it doing the baking, attending to customers, marketing, book-keeping and mopping the floors myself! I love it when customers walk in and tell me it’s a lovely shop – because my fiancé built the display counter and shelves, and I made the curtains and the aprons, and we both put in the flooring and painted it ourselves.
“The challenge of not knowing how many customers will come that day is far outweighed by the freedom of doing what I enjoy. I may be a one-person operation, but I’m the boss, too!”
What Wanda finds the most gratifying is sharing French culture with her customers and seeing the look on their faces when they try their very first macaron at Les Petits Bisous. It’s magnifique!
See Wanda in her lovely shop as she explains the fascinating history of the French macaron and Marie Antoinette in the video below.