Growing up in Casablanca, Morocco, Hanane Ait Oufella was surrounded by delectable French pastries. She moved to the U.S. nine years ago, but wasn’t baking seriously until her daughter was born.

“I grew up eating a lot of nice French pastries,” she says, “and since I had my little girl – she’s four now – I wanted to introduce her to my part of the culture. I wanted to make her all the pastries I had growing up, and she actually liked the macarons!”

Ait Oufella’s friends and family liked the macarons, too, and encouraged her to turn her nostalgic hobby into a business. Six months ago, she launched The Queen of Macaron.

The micro-bakery offers sweet and colorful French macarons in 20 flavors, including birthday cake, Key lime, coffee, apricot, peach-mango and more. Her personal favorites? The cotton candy and the Nutella.

So far, Ait Oufella's business has been mostly conducted through word-of-mouth and social media, but she says she’d love to have a storefront someday.

“I feel like if my little baby business [has] survived what’s going on with the pandemic, I strongly believe in it. It’s growing bigger,” Ait Oufella says. “I even quit my job to focus on this. I have a lot of ideas and a lot of things that I’m working on that I cannot wait to share.”

While candy-colored macarons are a staple of Instagram, Ait Oufella encourages anyone who has never eaten one to try her confections: “It’s like a little bit of heaven.”

You can order macarons from The Queen of Macaron online at thequeenofmacaron.com.

The Queen of Macaron, thequeenofmacaron.com