The holidays are just about here, so all of us at #Brandstorm thought it would be fun to talk about a sweet, corporate gift idea. This office gift could also be a clever way of saying, “I’m sorry,” when you really mess up. The name of the franchise is Woops! Its bakeshops and kiosks serve artisanal, French macarons, pastries and coffee all around the country. Milwaukee owner Shahnoza Saadati talks about this relatively new franchise and its delicate creations.
What is a French Macaron?
Shahnoza likes to say there are three macarons: the flourless American cookie that is typically made with coconut (macaroon), the French pastry (macaron) and the French President Macron. While they may all sound alike, there is only one macaron. The delicate, French pastry is very difficult to make. The first step is making the crust, which is made with almond, four and fresh, whipped egg whites. The second step is the filling, a chocolate ganache with white chocolate from Belgium. The macaron is then infused with flavors like pistachio, blueberry cheesecake and lemon tart.
There are 20 flavors in all. Some are seasonal like the strawberry milkshake and orange cream sickle in the summer, apple cinnamon in the fall, red velvet dressed up in confetti at Christmas. Valentine’s Day is always a surprise, but last year was a strawberry passion fruit. Some are American flavors that include cookies and cream, Nutella, red velvet and cotton candy. But the classics are always available – pistachio, dark chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, lemon tart and salted caramel.
The last step to making the macaron is freezing them in a special container so that no humidity gets in to spoil the colors and meringue crust.
A Corporate Gift to Remember
Shahnoza says she was attracted to the Woops! franchise because of its B2B approach to gifting. The French macarons are memorable because they are handmade, handprinted and hand-delivered. They come in a variety of beautiful packaging as small as a flavor pack with two macarons for $6, gift boxes from $13 to $26, combinations of boxes at $50, $100 and $200, and even large pyramids that are typically made for weddings. Both the macarons and packaging sleeves can be imprinted with corporate logos.
The macarons are made in New York, frozen and shipped in protective boxes to Shahnoza, who keeps the macarons in her storefront kiosk at Brookfield Square. While she has a retail presence, most orders are taken online and hand-delivered using Grub Hub and Door Dash. Orders can be fulfilled and delivered in less than 30 minutes, if needed.
Building Corporate Relationships
Shahnoza says doing in business in Wisconsin is all about relationships and referrals. She networks with the local Chamber of Commerce and Visit Milwaukee. She takes a pop-up kiosk to shows like Marketplace Wisconsin and uses LinkedIn to connect with businesses and deliver samples to interested parties.
Woops! started in New York with four friends and previous franchise owners who wanted to create something of their own. Their startups with the French Macarons grossed a quarter-million dollars in just 5 weeks. In no time, they realized “woops” we have a business, and just one year later, “woops” we have a franchise…or so the story goes.
There are about 50 Woops! locations and 30 franchisees in the U.S. Started in 2012, the company supplies franchisees with all the resources to connect with local businesses in addition to making the delicate and delicious macarons, custom printing and packaging. They have materials to say thanks, appreciate clients, even real estate closings, and support franchisees with weekly phone calls. While the cost of a business is always more than you anticipate, Shahnoza says the investment in a Woops! franchise is about $80,000 to $100,000.
Connect with Shahnoza