House of Waldorf bakes French-meets-Filipino macarons

Coconut pandan macarons cool before they are topped off. House of Waldorf creator Jack Meir combines French macarons with Filipino flavors.

Amber Gibson/The Daily Northwestern

Coconut pandan macarons cool before they are topped off. House of Waldorf creator Jack Meir combines French macarons with Filipino flavors.

Amber Gibson, Columnist

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When Communication senior Jack Mier didn’t have enough money to buy his friends gifts last Christmas, he turned to baking. Who doesn’t love homemade edible treats? Instead of cookies, brownies or cakes, Mier ambitiously tackled a French delicacy: the macaron.

“I wanted something really special and expensive-looking,” he said. “So I figured I should try making macarons and put them in pretty boxes.” Mier’s past baking experience includes selling brownies (not that kind of brownie) in high school, and his family owns a catering business in the Philippines, where Mier grew up. Although baking is just a hobby, after four days and numerous attempts, he had macarons ready for gifting.

“They were just OK,” Mier said. “I wasn’t fully satisfied with what I created.”

His recipients begged to differ. When they started asking for more, and even offered to pay, Mier realized he had inadvertently created a patisserie. He applied branding and advertising techniques he’s learned at Northwestern to create his House of Waldorf brand.

“I really like the character Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl,” Mier said. “She has a craving for French macarons too. So I thought it was just perfect for my product.”

Fittingly, Mier tried his first macaron in New York City.

“After graduation, I am looking to break into the advertising world as an art director,” he said. However, he won’t forego his macaron company. “House of Waldorf will definitely continue. It’s another outlet to harness my creativity. I love creating things from scratch.”

And he has plans for expansion.

“My brother-in-law is already working on a website for House of Waldorf, to make it available to a larger market,” Mier said. “I think baking and advertising can go hand in hand.”

Mier recently sold his 50th box of macarons after being in business just three weeks. Valentine’s Day saw Mier baking until 3 a.m. He mostly receives orders from Facebook friends or friends of friends who saw mouthwatering photos on their Facebook news feeds.

“My most popular flavor is the ube-macapuno,” Mier said “Ube is purple yam. Macapuno is a mutation of the coconut that’s sticky and has a signature taste. In the Philippines, we have ice cream and cakes made out of ube-macapuno.”

Another Philippines-inspired flavor is buko-pandan, a mix of coconut and pandan. These are flavors you won’t find at Vanille Patisserie or Bennison’s.

“My favorite macaron is raspberry,” Mier said. “It has real raspberry jam hidden inside its buttercream filling.”

Customers can purchase a dozen macarons for $10. Place an order by emailing waldorfpastries@gmail.com or messaging House of Waldorf on Facebook. More classic flavors include vanilla, triple chocolate, lemon, mint and mocha.

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