Let's start with the basics: macarons and macaroons are not the same thing. So dispel any image in your head of coconutty cake balls (macaroons) and instead, visit Janette & Co for a taste of France's beloved sweet treat (macarons).
Quentin and Agnes Garrigou opened their first shop in South Miami nearly two years ago. Last week, they debuted another outpost on Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Together, the pair is educating neighborhood folks on the art of French pastry and preserving their sugar high with delicious macarons of all flavors.
Originally from France, the Garrigous first came to Florida seven years ago when Quentin was hired as a cook at a French restaurant in Sarasota. Years later, the idea for Janette & Co was born, the name stemming from the couple's grandmothers, Jane and Janie.
Originally trained as a savory chef, Quentin went back to France to study at Lenôtre, a culinary school in Paris. There, he learned the art of French pastry and upon graduation, returned to his wife in the United States to make their dream a reality.
"My wife takes care of the employees and customers," he says. "She's the front [of the house] and I'm the back."
He wakes up every morning around 5 a.m. to begin baking his macarons and continues throughout the day as certain flavors like pistachio, rose and coconut sell out quickly.
"We always have 16 to 20 flavors and every month I do one different macaron. Our most popular flavor is Nutella, of course."
Alongside his staple macarons, the shop serves house-made croissants, chocolates from Fort Myers based Norman Love, and coffee and tea to accompany your sweet treats.
"We sell Nespresso, which I like because it's not too messy and we just press a button and it's always perfect. We also sell Kusmi Tea, a tea house in France that's over a hundred years old. I believe we were the first to have it in South Florida."
While macarons are becoming increasingly popular in the US, he finds much of the city still is not quite sure what they are getting when they walk into his store.
"We were very stunned because it took us at least four or five months at the other shop to educate people. People always think it's the coconut one, macaroons. We have at least three to five people every day that don't know what it is."
Once the shop gets into the swing of things, Quentin plans to introduce cakes into his daily rotation and would love to eventually welcome customers into his kitchen for cooking classes. Until then, he's eager to offer advice to his guests on macaron baking.
"My number one tip is to never stop trying. You learn from your mistakes. The secret is that simple, you have to try and try and try."
Connect with Cassie Glenn on Twitter @cassieinmiami.
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