Macaron de Jayne started as a college study abroad fundraiser. Nearly a decade later,  Jayne Baltazar is bringing her innovative desserts to customers across Silicon Valley.

Jayne Baltazar runs Macaron de Jayne, a Santa Clara-based catering business and pop-up macaron shop. Courtesy Jayne Baltazar.

Jayne Baltazar’s first forays into baking macarons began as an effort to get to France. As a college student at San Jose State University nearly a decade ago, Baltazar was eager to study abroad in Paris.  

In order to pay her own way there, she decided to launch a bake sale fundraiser based on the most French dessert she could think of: a macaron. 

The only problem was, she’d never baked one before. So she got to work, experimenting, reading blogs and watching YouTube videos to learn the technique. Once she mastered the technique, she began to sell her macarons via word of mouth and Instagram, taking orders through text and social media. 

After a few months of fundraising, she met her goal and went on her Paris trip, where she was able to sample some real Parisian macarons. 

Upon returning, she finished her college degree and began working in the health care field as an administrative assistant at Kaiser Permanente, continuing her side hustle as a macaron baker

She started selling macarons at the Willow Glen Farmers Market in San José in 2019, baking every day after work to make 800 to 1,100 macarons for each market day.

When the pandemic hit she stepped back, focusing on weekly sales from her commercial kitchen space in Milpitas. She later returned to the market and began to regularly sell out of her macarons.

Chocolate hazelnut macarons by Macaron de Jayne. Courtesy Jayne Baltazar.

“Seeing the community out there supporting other small businesses was very touching, especially during that time,” she says.  

While her baking business continued to expand, the stress of working in health care at a dangerous time mounted. 

“I had to go into work every day…not like other jobs where people can stay home,” she says. “The baking was a little distraction.” 

She found herself getting distracted by her baking business at work and realized she’d have to make a choice: remain in health care or branch out into baking full time.

“I’d rather have my small business stress versus health care stress,” she says. So in January 2021, she left her job to pursue her baking business full time through catering, pop-ups and direct sales from a commercial kitchen in Milpitas. 

Jayne Baltazar runs Macaron de Jayne, a Santa Clara-based catering and pop-up macaron shop. Courtesy Jayne Baltazar.

Her menu includes a wide range of macarons and sweets made with innovative flavors inspired by desserts she’s eaten. Her signature macaron flavor is chocolate hazelnut, which is inspired by Ferrero Rocher chocolates and made with milk chocolate, roasted hazelnuts and Nutella. She also offers ube cookies and creme macarons, a matcha green tea macaron and seasonal macaron flavors like honey soy furikake, brown butter apple pie, pandan brulee and cookie butter s’mores. 

Another signature offering is what Baltazar has called (and trademarked) the tira•mac•su. It uses macaron shells instead of ladyfinger cookies and is available in espresso and matcha green tea flavors. The inspiration came to her in November 2020 while baking, when she found herself with hundreds of cracked macaron shells and decided to turn them into a tiramisu-inspired creation. The tira•mac•su creations are now available through Baltazar’s catering. 

A key tool for learning how to navigate running a baking business on her own has been social media, she says. 

“Social media…is a great resource for you to ask for tips and advice from other bakers,” she says. “I post all the time if I have questions.” 

Today she’s enjoying the flexibility and freedom that comes with being a small business owner – although she does miss having paid time off.

Truffle honey creme brulee macarons by Macaron de Jayne. Courtesy Jayne Baltazar.

When asked why she’s so passionate about macarons instead of other baked goods, she says appreciates the precision and science that go into making macarons and the reward that comes with seeing the finished product turn out how it’s supposed to. 

“The macaron is a very finicky cookie,” she says, adding that it’s also very versatile – she can change the shells’ color and create different designs and decorations. She offers her catering customers macarons that are customized with logos, wedding dates or initials and even photos.

“You can do so much with a macaron,” she says.  

Baltazar also hosts pop-ups and offers a monthly assortment through the local food delivery service Neon. This month, preorders start March 23 and deliveries are March 31.  

Weekly preorders for pickup open online Sundays at 9 a.m.

Macaron de Jayne, Instagram: @macarondejayne.

Kate Bradshaw

Kate Bradshaw

Kate Bradshaw reports food news and feature stories all over the Peninsula, from south of San Francisco to north of San José. Since she began working with Embarcadero Media in 2015, she's reported on everything from Menlo Park's City Hall politics to Mountain View's education system. She has won awards from the California News Publishers Association for her coverage of local government, elections and land use reporting.

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