On a strip of 4 storefronts across a bustling construction site, a bright pink neon sign signals where the sweetness among the rubble is located in Central District. Although this macaron shop has only been sitting here for about a month, its’ vision has been alive for the past 8 years with Alexandra Greenwald as Alexandra’s Macarons. This macaron shop is a product of love and devotion to a vision for a brighter community brought together by none other than a little pastry with huge potential.
The Spark of Joy
Alexandra found her passion early on, surrounded by family that was always in the kitchen, creating and baking new things. This sparked a joy in her that she knew she one day would share with the world through her own business. Alexandra trained as a chef and specialized in culinary arts and international baking & pastry. She worked in bistros, beloved cafés, and luxurious spots across the world. Although Alexandra traveled from New York to Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexico – she landed in Seattle, Washington. From here, she got to work in her pink Volkswagen van, lovingly named Gertrude.
Her business grew steadily over the years by word of mouth – participating in farmers markets, pop-ups, and collaboration with other small businesses in her community, all in her bright pink van.
New Chapter, New Challenges
About 3 years ago, Alexandra decided it was time to open a storefront. Searching for the perfect spot took time, and right when she found the perfect spot – the COVID-19 pandemic struck, “It took a lot of work to build this place and do it all, especially with everything that happened this year,” noted Alexandra.
Among the thousands of small businesses impacted just in Seattle, Alexandra’s Macarons definitely felt the pressure, stating that,
“We were delivering every day of the week just to sustain ourselves, we had to add all types of other pastries to our menu, cycling through a wild menu all of a sudden to make ends meet.”
Yet, this became the year to launch of a new chapter in Alexandra’s business journey. Despite all the challenges, she found her work throughout the years come together in this new home. A new home that radiates a sense of community, where 8 years of connections comes together to build a foundation for a lifetime of lasting impact in the neighborhood. Every moment someone came in to greet the staff or to chat with Alexandra. Macarons kept flying off the display case, into a hand-wrapped packages, to the hands of excited customers coming in and out of the shop. “It’s really incredible to see all the connections we’ve made through the years come together to support us,” noted Alexandra.
Throughout the 8 years it took to get to this point, Alexandra found herself tackling challenges throughout the process just as any small business owner faces, “I had these ideas, but I just didn’t know how to fine tune and [execute] them…” she noted. Alexandra knew she needed professional support and found a resource that worked for her.
“I learned about Business Impact NW around five years ago, I started with some one-on-one business coaching, then did Grow and Thrive.”
Alexandra has been involved with Business Impact NW’s services throughout her business journey. From beginnings in coaching to support her launch, to growth classes to take her business to the next level. “Taking these classes really solidified the ideas I had, ones that I didn’t know how to fine tune. Business Impact NW is really there to help you become stronger. Whether you’re new or was like me at the time. Someone that just needed to fine tune ideas – it’s something really special.”
We’re excited see all Alexandra’s Macarons brings to the Central District neighborhood in Seattle. Support Alexandra’s Macarons by visting their website here.
Looking to launch a business? Get started at an orientation for first-time visitors to Business Impact NW.
Looking to grow your existing business? Find out if a Grow and Thrive class would work for you.
About the author
Osmir "Oz" Díaz is the Communications Manager at Business Impact NW,
dedicated to amplifying the work of diverse entrepreneurs online and offline.
Oz holds a variety of skills in digital marketing that she applies to her work for racial equity and social justice in the digital landscape.