text by SHANI SILVER
video & photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK
video editing by CHRISTOPHE MCHALE
styling by ANNA KOCHARIAN
Dana Loia, founder and CEO of Dana’s Bakery, is going to make homemade macarons a reality for you. We know you’re afraid–this isn’t just a cookie we’re talking about here. They’re so beautiful, so delectable, so…French. Don’t be intimidated by these little pillowy sandwiches of joy. They’re simple to make as long as you’ve got the right tools, and a little expert advice. Watch our video for a very easy-to-follow tutorial from Dana herself, and carve out some weekend time for baking (and enjoying!) your macarons.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE YOUR BUSINESS?
As crazy as this sounds, I was inspired by being uninspired! 4 years ago I was working as photo director for Muscle & Fitness magazine. I was working on projects that I was not enthusiastic about, and I felt unfulfilled. I had and (still do) a love for baking, it is my passion. I was turning 30 years old and decided I needed to make a change. If I am going to do anything – why not try and do something that I am most passionate about. Shortly after this revelation (2 weeks to be exact), I put in my notice at Muscle & Fitness and enrolled in culinary school at ICE (Institute of Culinary Education). I had always loved macarons, specifically the colors and textures. I was impressed with the process/technique it took to make them but felt that the flavors being sold did not excite my palate. I also found the same flavor selection no matter which patisserie or bakery I went to buy them. It was at that moment when I saw an opportunity and decided to combine my career with my passion and love of baking. Dana’s Bakery was born at that very moment, and the journey of starting my own business began. French Macarons in fun American flavors.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Personally, I love that our macarons are a part of so many special occasions. Weddings, birthdays, baby showers, etc. My team and I put our hearts into every step of this process, so it is beyond rewarding to see it being shared with other people as a milestone in their lives.
WHAT’S THE BEST REACTION YOU’VE SEEN TO YOUR MACARONS?
I love seeing people eat our macarons for the first time. They are always so surprised how much the macarons actually taste like what they are supposed to be (birthday cake, actually tastes like birthday cake, we don’t skimp on our flavors.)! I also LOVE when people post pictures on social media to share it with their friends. When we announce our specialty flavors or the flavor of the month, it’s great to see everyone’s reaction and read their comments. People are always giving their suggestions. We read them all and actually use them when we can!
WHAT BAKING TIP DO YOU FIND YOURSELF GIVING OVER AND OVER AGAIN?
There are many tips, I list them in the instructions that come with our macaron making kits! But for starters, buy a good mixer and always remember, it’s just food so don’t stress. Have fun.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT DANA’S BAKERY?
Everyone who works at Dana’s Bakery is so passionate about macarons and making sure that our friends (customers) have the best experience possible from ordering to consumption. We really love what we do, and we hope that it shows when you eat our macarons! There is a lot of fun stuff on the horizon, stay tuned because the Dana’s Bakery story has just begun.