Eight years and three stores later, she is making macarons for people across the country.
“It has been a really cool experience,” Rajani said. “I feel like I have become a mentor to a lot of young people who want to open a business and are not entirely sure how. I think I became a testament of it being possible, whether it is brick-and-mortar or digitally.”
After opening her first location in River Oaks in Houston in 2013, Rajani expanded into The Woodlands around five years ago with a boutique at Hughes Landing.
Rajani said she felt being self-taught in making macarons—sandwich cookies made from almond meal and egg white with a creamy filling—was initially frowned upon by the Houston community.
“Me coming here and opening a pastry shop was a little hard,” Rajani said. “I did not get much recognition, but I think I passed the test of time and familiarity.”
Rajani’s interest in macarons in particular came from running a holistic wellness and nutrition practice, and the first macarons she made were for the children she was working with.
“Macarons are usually gluten free, color free and preservative free,” she said.
Rajani said parents were soon asking to buy her macarons. Eventually, a catering business expressed an interest in purchasing around 1,200 of the cookies, which jump-started her business.
“Every week, I was doing between 800 and 1,200 macarons from my apartment,” Rajani said. “From there, my brother came down, and we opened our first shop.”
Rajani also expanded into offering monthly baking classes, which originally hosted around 20 people, who could take home around three dozen macarons when finished. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the classes have shifted to virtual.
Flavors for every season
Over the years since the store opened, Rajani has developed both year-round and seasonal flavors for her macarons. Recently for Valentine’s Day she offered flavors such as dark chocolate-dipped strawberry, raspberry rose, strawberry champagne and chocolate cherry.
“We try to be a little more innovative and do something different,” Rajani said. “We try to have something there every month, which makes it a bit more exciting because it will only be there for a little bit.”
Rajani added she is particularly active on social media while she is making new flavors and new macarons, and she takes community feedback for flavor ideas.
When making the macarons, Rajani said almost everything with the exception of the hazelnut spread Nutella is made from scratch. Due to the temperamental nature of the pastries, which are easily affected by humidity and other factors, fresh batches are made on a daily basis.
Macaron by Patisse
1950 Hughes Landing Blvd, Ste. 1775, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Sun., noon-6 p.m.