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Fall in Love with Le Macaron

Take a Cozy, Parisian-Inspired Coffee Break at Liberty Center

Article by Laura Leavitt

Photography by Len Kaltman—West Chester Corporate Photography

Originally published in Centerville Lifestyle

Whether your favorite dessert is frozen, baked or intricately decorated, that first bite is exquisite. Whatever was on your mind can take a break, making room for a little sweetness.

Marina Amaral has been a home dessert chef and world traveler her whole life: after growing up in Brazil, she has lived in Venezuela, Switzerland, Germany, and now, the West Chester/Liberty area.

“I learned a lot about people around the world and what kinds of desserts they like,” says Marina Amaral, owner of Le Macaron at Liberty Center. “This helped me a lot! I understand the customers better. I also speak Spanish and understand some French, which helps as well.” 

When she looked to start a business in 2018, Marina found a perfect blend of her passions for living around the world and for baked treats. The Le Macaron name is part of a small French-owned franchise which allowed her to create a wonderful shop for desserts and craft coffee alongside the main attraction: macarons.

“I started the process with this franchise in January, 2018,” says Marina. “In June, I found Liberty Center, with great foot traffic. It’s perfect.”

Macarons are a unique delicacy that look simple but require a lot of finesse to create: the simple ingredients of almond flour, egg white and sugar are combined to create the shells of a sandwich, with flavorings and color added in to create the many different types, from Lavender White Chocolate to Lemon Cream. The filling is flavored buttercream, delicate chocolate or jam. 

“The idea is that it’s an adventure every time you try one,” says Marina. “First, a crunch in the shell, then the moisture inside, then the melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Our logo says ‘a mouthful of heaven,’ for a reason.”

At only 80 calories per macaron, these sweets are guilt-free, in addition to being made with gluten-free ingredients. Three flavors are also dairy-free--strawberry key lime, passion mango and raspberry--making a visit to Le Macaron accessible for all dessert lovers 

Beyond macarons, the shop has French-chef-created gelato, a frozen treat different from the average ice cream.

“Ice cream is made using cream, while gelato is created using milk, so it’s not as heavy,” says Marina. “The flavors we have are made by a French chef, so we have slightly different flavors: macaron gelato, an almond based flavor with pieces of macaron, and we have violet flower and pistachio. They aren’t common. It’s a piece of Europe here.”

Marina enjoys the aspect of the business that lets her work with a close friend as well as a variety of other workers, who receive training each month to continue to provide a great customer service experience. 

“It’s great to work with people you really trust,” she says.

As a former teacher, she trains her workers about the products but also to help them be successful in life beyond the shop. 

“I was an educator working with learning disabilities, so this is another way to use what I learned, to teach them how to be the best they can be,” she says. “We are always innovating here, with new training every month on how to be successful in the shop and beyond.”

After nearly two years in business, she continues to find new joys within the coffee bar, pastry case and trays of macarons.

“I love the new craft iced lattes. It’s iced coffee, plus gelato and syrup. I love them. For macarons, I love the Orange Grand Marnier macaron with the chocolate inside,” says Marina with a twinkle in her eye. “Every day, you want to try something different: eclair, napoleon or something else. I thought I’d be tired of desserts after six months, but there’s always something new!”

Macarons have become popular as a compact, beautiful gift, with boxes that house a single macaron for a party favor all the way up to ornate towers of macarons that make excellent party or wedding centerpieces that turn into delightful desserts at the end of the meal. If you’re looking for a high-quality gift, Le Macaron is happy to help--just keep in mind that macarons are best fresh, so pick them up less than three days before they’ll be consumed.

Whether you work with Le Macaron to craft great corporate business gifts for the winter holidays or use it as a perfect place to drink a latte and nibble on a pastry, this shop is a great way to transport yourself to France and beyond. 

Le Macaron, 7529 Bales St. 513.755.5400. Liberty Township,

“The idea is that it’s an adventure every time you try one,” says Marina. “First, a crunch in the shell, then the moisture inside, then the melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Our logo says ‘a mouthful of heaven,’ for a reason.”