The Rapidian

New pastry shop brings taste of France to Cherry Street

The newly opened Le Bon Macaron aims to create a unique, Parisian-styled experience through its food, drink and service.
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General Info: Le Bon Macaron

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Condensed Menu: 

Coffee (Espresso, Macchiato, etc.) $2-$5

Tea $2

Macaron $2

Croissant $3.75

 

Available for weddings and showers.

For inquiries, contact [email protected]

/Kelly Toland

/Nicholas Garbaty

East Lansing-based Le Bon Macaron has recently opened its second location in East Hills (951 Cherry Street SE). Macarons, not to be confused with coconut and almond based macaroons, are colorful French pastries (picture a gourmet Oreo-shaped sweet) that can be created in a variety of flavors.

Owner Kelly Toland decided to bring the pastry shop to the East Hills area due to its community “feel” created by the residents and other businesses and restaurants situated there.

“We wanted to bring a bakery where people could come in, have coffee, spend time with friends and sort of feel like they’re in Paris without leaving their home town,” Toland says. “It’s a different kind of atmosphere that I think the area needed and people wanted.”

While the shop shares an appearance with that of a cafe, it does not offer free wifi nor is it geared for alone time. Toland wanted the space to encourage spending time with friends and family while snacking on pastries and warm drinks, rather than working on one’s laptop late into the afternoon.

Family plays an important role in the opening and maintenance of the shop. Before opening in 2009, Le Bon Macaron started as a side business run mainly by Toland’s father.

“He would bake once a week or so and it was just something more or less to do for fun,” Toland says. “We always grew up with family business in mind. That’s the heart of our business.”

Along with serving a wide variety of flavors of macaron, the shop offers a selection of desserts and beverages, many from the West Michigan area.

“We have coffee from Rowster and croissants from Field and Fire," says Chelsea Kobus, Toland’s sister and manager of the Cherry Street location. “We’re going to be selling some of Patricia’s Chocolate here and she’s going to be selling some of our macarons in Grand Haven out of her shop as well.”

Le Bon Macaron also shares space with Ginko Studios, a floral design studio that’s been operated by Mari Ignatoski from the building for 22 years. After Hunt and Gather, an interior design, furniture and homewares company, moved out, Toland and company took the opportunity to move in.

“It was kind of a match made in heaven,” Toland says. “Both of us being small business owners, Mari [the owner of Ginko Studios] and I get along very well and flowers and baked goods go along so well together. She’s like a member of our family now.”

While providing local products, Kobus and Toland still want to maintain the impression of a Parisian patisserie. They plan to hold special French-themed events to entice people to the store and support French culture.

“My sister and I both have degrees in French,” Kobus says. “Once you’re out of school and you’re not taking classes it’s hard to practice, so I know eventually we’d like to do some sort of a French night where people can come and practice their French.”

Toland and Kobus report they’ve found success with the new location and receive positive response from the community.

“A lot of people came in our first week just introducing themselves from the shops around,” Kobus says. “It’s really cool that you can feel the sense of community here.”

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