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Hester Street Fair Profile: Macaron Parlour

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macaron parlour
Christina Ha and Simon Tung of Macaron Parlour. Photo by Robert Gim.

Heading towards the weekend, we have another profile today of a vendor at the Hester Street Fair. Meet Christina Ha and Simon Tung of Macaron Parlour — partners in more way than one.

These Lower East Side residents were only dating for a month or so, when they were chosen to take part in the very first weekend of the fair last spring.  More than a year later, both the business and their romance continue to blossom.

Christina admits she’s obsessed with macarons. She was hooked after learning to make them in Paris and dreamed of opening a macaron-focused bakery in New York.  Simon obviously knew the way to Christina’s heart. Immediately after “friending” her on Facebook, Simon wrote on his wall, “What should I bake today?”  It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Simon is the “front-of-the-house” guy.  Outgoing and personable, he’s on the front lines at the fair, introducing new customers to the wonders of the “bite sized petit fours.”  Macaron Parlour features classic flavors but also some wacky combinations, including candied bacon with maple cream cheese. thai chili and even Christina’s take on s’mores.

Like many Hester Street Fair vendors, Macaron Parlour has been blessed with great publicity, both in the mainstream and alternative media. Christina and Simon are also riding the great macaron wave sweeping New York City.  They’re building a solid wholesale business, catering special events and getting their macarons into more and more stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue.

They have also established a new base of operations in Brooklyn — inside Smith Canteen in Carroll Gardens. Christina and Simon still dream of opening a stand alone retail shop of their own, but for now the new production space is a huge step forward.

They both love the sense of camaraderie that’s developed among fair vendors. Today, for example, they’re collaborating on a “special frozen dessert” with the guys at Melt Bakery (who we profiled a few weeks ago).

It’s being concocted in honor of the 2nd annual Gargyle x United Bamboo SMASH! Tennis Challenge, which returns to the Hester Street Fair this weekend.  More details and a full list of this Saturday’s vendors can be found here.

As for that mystery dessert, it looks like we may have to wait for Saturday to see what the mad geniuses have created!

UPDATED 8:55 A.M. 6/17/2011: the special dessert is… mint ice cream with a green macaron shell!


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