We’re beyond excited to welcome another new Franchise Owner to the Le Macaron family! Meet Natalia Mejia, who, along with husband Camilo Beltran, will be bringing the number one macaron franchise in the country to the Washington, D.C. area in 2023.
We sat down with Natalia to learn more about her and to find out what she looks forward to most about opening her Gaithersburg, Maryland French pastry franchise. Here’s what she had to say:
Thanks for chatting with us today, Natalia. We’d love to learn a little more about your career prior to discovering the Le Macaron franchise opportunity. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in Colombia and moved to the United States at age 17. I grew up in the greater D.C. area and currently reside in Montgomery County. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and have experience working in childcare as an administrator, in real estate as a property manager and in franchising as a project manager.
What are some hobbies or interests you enjoy in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my family, and obviously baking!
How did you first become aware of the Le Macaron’s bakery franchise?
My husband and I were out on a trip in Florida back in 2018 and walked into the Le Macaron store at the Boca Raton Town Square. We were amazed by the quality of the macarons and the beautiful décor of the store. A couple years later, we ended up running into the other Le Macaron location at Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale and the experience was just as good as the first time!
What did you like about the Le Macaron bakery franchise opportunity?
I like the idea of being able to work for myself, manage my time and being able to share this experience with my family. I also like that Le Macaron is a national brand that will continue to grow and has positioned itself as an industry leader.
Have you always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur?
I didn’t really want to become an entrepreneur. I don’t look at owning a Le Macaron franchise as a job, I enjoy what the brand stands for and how it brings communities together. I like the operational aspect, but my husband has a background in small business and is the one who saw this as a great business opportunity.
Why is Le Macaron the right fit for you?
I believe in the product; I believe in the brand and that this can be a successful business. Additionally, it fits with my passions of serving people and my love for specialty desserts.
What sets Le Macaron apart, in your eyes, from other franchise opportunities in the food service or bakery franchise industry?
The family aspect of Le Macaron was very appealing to me. The sense of community within the franchise community and the connection that the store can have to the neighborhoods that we serve really make it a special opportunity. The product is also elegant, delicate, colorful, and fun, which are all representative of who I am.
How much did Le Macaron’s emphasis on producing high-quality authentic French pastries influence your choice to franchise with them?
That was a huge part of our decision. Knowing that there is emphasis on great quality and having experienced the product to back it up gave me the confidence to be part of this franchise community.
Let’s talk about your Discovery Day at the Sarasota headquarter of Le Macaron. What were some of your favorite parts?
I really enjoyed seeing a store opening and the interactions between the customers and the team. Trying so many different macarons was also a close second!
What did you like about meeting Le Macaron’s Founders?
Meeting Rosalie and the family felt like we were family. They are passionate about the work they do, the people in the organization and seemed to really care about every aspect of Le Macaron.
Did you have a particular “A-Ha!” or “lightbulb” moment that made you want to franchise with Le Macaron?
The moment that stands out for me is when we visited the confectionery and saw all the upgrades that were coming into the kitchen as the company prepared for growth! The process and the operations that are run at the confectionery are very well done and that gives us confidence. As we learned more about plans for growth, we really wanted to be part of that.
What has been your best experience with Le Macaron’s corporate team so far?
I have really valued how helpful they have been throughout the process. The communication has been superb, and I love how the team is always taking our ideas into consideration while guiding us with their experience.
What do you think will make you successful as a Le Macaron Franchise Owner?
I believe that exceptional customer service will make us successful. I believe that welcoming people and creating a positive culture and environment within the store will make for a successful store. I also believe that the product is the best in the marketplace and, combined with a great experience at the store for the customers, will result in repeat customers as well as promoters within the community.
What are you looking forward to most about owning your own Le Macaron franchise?
I am definitely looking forward to having the opportunity to create or be part of someone’s special moment by sharing these incredible macarons.
Finally, now that you’ve been through the Franchise Discovery Process and have been awarded a Le Macaron franchise, what advice would you give to a potential Franchise Owner who is just starting the process?
My advice would be to make sure you have the mental, physical, and emotional capacity to take on this journey. There are a lot of projects to manage and there is a significant amount of investment that you will be making with capital and time, so you want to make sure it is a good fit and you have the bandwidth for it.
Natalia’s franchise story is an inspiration to those who are thinking about becoming their own boss and doing something that brings sweet rewards of both the emotional AND financial variety! If you’re thinking about opening a Le Macaron franchise in your community, we are currently awarding franchises in select U.S. cities. Visit our franchise website today to learn more about the Le Macaron franchise opportunity and learn how you can bring America’s top macaron franchise to your hometown!