September 2014

Graduate Rosie is enjoying sweet success

Read time: approx 1 mins

Life is sweet for a UCB professional cookery graduate who has forged a successful career making macarons.

Rosie Ginday’s beautiful baking, producing feather-light mini-meringues and delicious fillings, have earned her a growing reputation, whether it is producing colourful weddings towers, corporate gift boxes or lavish shop displays.

Rosie runs Miss Macaroon in Hockley, Birmingham, just a mile from the kitchens where she honed her skills as a pastry chef.

The business allows her to combine her creative flair, her love of confectionery and social outreach work. Miss Macaroon operates as a community interest company and runs a series of programmes for marginalised young people, providing training and raising aspirations for participants.

Nothing stands still, whether it is developing a new range of seasonal flavours or looking at new business opportunities. Rosie is set to launch a gluten-free bakery at her kitchen unit as the production of macarons (made from egg whites, sugar, ground almonds, icing sugar and the fillings) makes the tie up perfect.

Rosie took Level 2 and Level 3 professional cookery at UCB after graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in fine art. At the age of 24, she was older than most of the students in her year group, who were predominantly school-leavers, but she settled in quickly and loved the classes and lectures.

“I loved the variety,” says Rosie. “I remember going to the butchery and getting experience there, working in the Atrium restaurant, preparing a whole monkfish. You don’t often get those opportunities.”

She recalls meeting visiting chefs, the excitement of taking part in competitions and her love of the chocolate course.

“UCB allows you to get really in-depth experience in so many things. All of the lecturers are so knowledgeable and so supportive.”

Armed with her new skills and confidence, Rosie worked at Michelin-starred Purnell’s restaurant in Birmingham before moving to the city’s Hyatt Regency. She enjoyed being given free rein to develop her ideas in the hotel’s pastry section and finally took the plunge and launched Miss Macaroon in 2011.

Although it was a daunting prospect, she was prepared for the hard work and thought carefully before deciding on the product.

Making and selling macarons had low start-up costs – mainly the manufacturing facility and investment in the website – and the sweet concoctions had become fashionable. The manufacturing process also presented Rosie with a challenge, which is just how she likes it.

She says: “I could have done cupcakes but for me they are boring and easy to make. Macarons are quite skilled to produce and there were going to be things that went wrong along the process, so that would keep me interested. Making macarons is scientific and there is a lot of precision involved.”

Rosie adds: “There were difficulties in the beginning but I would not have given it everything if I didn’t have the fear factor.”

Rosie now supplies macarons to top restaurants, coffee shops and a high-end retailer in addition to her online shop. Her current range features 23 flavours including Classics (strawberry, pistachio and salted caramel) and a Seasonal collection.

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