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Meet Rachelle and Ethan Shin of Bunjour Bakery in Orange County (Laguna Hills)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachelle and Ethan Shin.

Rachelle and Ethan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m the type of person who cannot show up empty-handed when visiting friends or family and so I always bring along some type of dessert packed into my overused Tupperware from home. I would often have requests for my macarons and chocolate cakes and this gifting of desserts slowly turned into orders for birthday parties and other life events for our friends.

When I became overwhelmed with my orders, Ethan who is always ready to lend a helping hand, learned to bake basic macarons. Together we refined our macarons through trial and error. We found the perfect temperature to bake our French meringue macarons to keep them fluffy and soft while maintaining a crisp shell. We decided early on that we could create everything from scratch to maintain our quality. From our homemade “Oreos” to our soft fleur de sel caramel we take the time to put love into our macarons.

We were baking constantly and now we had strangers ordering through us. They had tasted our macarons at our friends’ events and wanted us to open a shop to cater to more people. The cost of opening a business was much too high for us to afford and so we looked for a smaller option.

We found our home at the Irvine Farmers’ Market, it gave us the flexibility to be open to the public without the enormous cost of opening a brick and mortar. Today you can find us every Friday at the Laguna Hills Farmers’ Market and every Saturday at the Irvine Farmers’ Market selling fun character macarons as well as regular macarons in many flavors from vanilla bean to Thai tea.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When we first started operating at the farmers market we were hit with a string of bad luck. We were scheduled to open our very first market in a week and our oven stopped working. We purchased a new oven on our credit card and began to bake, however, the macarons wouldn’t bake the same way in our new oven. I would pipe tray after tray of Pikachu macarons adjusting the temperature at first and later adjusting the recipe to see if it might help our macarons from collapsing in the oven. I sat in front of my oven and prayed to the baking gods every time I placed a tray within, set the timer, and waited for the dismal result of sunken and collapsed macarons.

Ethan and I finally worked out the kinks with our macarons and then our car broke down and we were informed that it would cost a small fortune to fix. We had trouble getting around with one car missing, but fortunately, our kind family stepped in to help and drive our kids to school while we begrudgingly paid the cost to have our car repaired.

With dark circles under our eyes, we opened at our first farmers’ market unknowing what to expect, it was like honey for a sore throat. Children flocked over to our booth and picked out their favorite characters. We listened while they told us what characters they would like to see next week. We heard kind words from the adults and we were reassured that our efforts were worth it. We still operate in this way of listening to requests and surprising our customers next week with wished for flavors and characters.

Bunjour Bakery – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At Bunjour, Bakery we create small batches of macarons from scratch and we bake them with love and care. Ethan creates most of the regular macarons every week while I create the character macarons.

Our macarons are known for their traditional and fun flavors like salted caramel, lucky charms, lavender earl grey, strawberry, and matcha “oreo.” We also like to create character macarons from 100% macaron batter (no icing or fondant). Our character macarons tend to draw people in but we tend to receive more praise of our flavors and texture than anything else.

We are most proud of building our business by developing a friendly relationship with our customers. Ethan and I bake everything together, answer emails, and take phone calls ourselves. We are here to make our customers happy.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is being able to provide for our family and maintaining enough time to be a good mother and father to our two children. We want our business to be successful but not at the cost of being unable to read our boys a bedtime story. We hope to continue to grow our business so that we can support our children as they develop different passions in their lives. When our customers support us they allow our children to learn baseball and taekwondo, for which we are infinitely grateful for. We hope that we can continue to be successful by bringing small amounts of happiness to people through our macarons.

Pricing:

  • Regular Macarons $2
  • Character Macarons $3+

Contact Info:

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