I had the good fortune to visit Paris in 2010. To say I was charmed by the city, people, fashion, cuisine, and culture would be an understatement. My friends and I made it a point to sample as much as we could from the local bakeries and restaurants. The city was unlike anything I was prepared for. Almost every block has its own bakery with their own unique pastries, a small produce market for fresh fruits and vegetables, and a restaurant. There were not massive big box stores you drive your SUV to and load up with enough food for a week or two. Most Parisian’s rely on public transportation and so they shop more frequently but get smaller amounts. So enchanted by this simple, fresh way of life, upon my return I was determined to:
- Take my children to Chicago for the weekend relying Only on public transportation so they could get a taste of what I experienced
- Find a bakery like the ones they have in Paris
I succeeded on the first point and we did spend a weekend in Chicago sans an automobile. Plus, my now 19 year-old daughter throughly knows how to use the AAATA bus system. However it was the second point that has been eluding me until now.
While driving on 4th Street I passed by a place I never saw before with le bon macaron written across the top. Wait. What was that? As soon as I got to my stop I pulled out my phone and called to see if they were open yet. They were. I left my car and walked the three blocks to get there pretending my little Ann Arbor town was actually Paris. Ironically, I had just left the Ann Arbor Art Center to see the new installation of “Millennial Pink” so this facade was actually kind of working for me.
When I arrived, the bakery was all I could have hoped for and more. It was equipped with small white bistro tables, a counter in the front window, pink roses on every table and the gorgeous bakery case filled with French Macarons.
I was in a bit of a hurry so I didn’t ask a lot of questions, but I wish I would have. When I returned home I went to their website and learned it’s a family business owned by a couple and their two grown daughters who both studied abroad in Paris. The other two locations are in East Lansing and Grand Rapids.
I definitely see myself spending a lot of time there. I bought a few extra macarons for me and my daughter to take on the plane Wednesday when we fly to San Francisco. To all the other passengers on-board, sorry, not sorry!