Since May, Syracuse has had its own taste of Paris right inside Shed C at the Regional Market. The Sweet Praxis began selling macarons every Saturday and shoppers have responded with curiosity and by purchasing the treats. Unlike Gordon, who has perfected savory varieties as well as sweet versions, co-owners Jennifer Walls and Natalie Hansen have begun with the latter.
“We’ve only done sweet so far,” says Walls, “at least 20 varieties. Every week we try to play and several we do repetitively because they’re classic. We’re inspired by local producers and seasonal items. This week’s four flavors are brownie, apple cinnamon, pumpkin and lavender.”
The pair typically sells their macarons in a package of two for $2.50. “We have had people order more privately,” Walls says. “We had someone order five dozen for a wedding.”
In addition to their booth at the Regional Market, 2100 Park St., Sweet Praxis wholesales their macarons to Café Kubal in Eastwood and Green Hills supermarket in Nedrow. “For the majority of people in Syracuse, these are brand new to them,” Hansen notes, “so we’re doing a lot of education at the market. We explain what French macarons are. People have even told us we spelled it wrong—because they’re thinking of the American macaroon—but that just gives us a chance to explain what they are. And for people who know what they are, they’re excited to see them locally.”
The pair admit that macarons aren’t easy to make, but with practice it’s possible to get them right. “They’re a finicky little thing,” Walls says. “It took us a while to nail it down. We would practice and our batches were really ugly, but they tasted good. We couldn’t get the typical form with the little feet and the smooth shell. It took a good month or two before we got it, and we’re still getting better.”
In addition to macarons, Sweet Praxis also sells cupcakes, whoopee pies and dog treats. “We started the dog treats because of the macarons,” Hansen explains. “Using all those egg whites means we have leftover yolks and we don’t want them to go to waste.”
The duo hopes to open a shop of their own someday, but meanwhile you can find them at the Regional Market every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Or you can place an order on the Facebook page at facebook.com/thesweetpraxis or by calling 216-7797.