Mama of the Macaron Mayhem

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By Chelsea Kern

The line filed around the building for two hours before Jenna Parker, owner of Macs a la Mode, officially swung open her first brick and mortar location for her popular macaron ice cream sandwiches.

The small business on State Street in Orem originally began in the Parker basement. Jenna and her husband, Joey, began to taste success with Utah County pop-up shops and positive word-of-mouth interactions. Eventually, the Parkers had both the supply and demand to find a place to call home sweet home. Jenna says owning the business has been her biggest accomplishment.

“The shop was always in the back of our minds, but it never felt super possible,” Jenna says. “We looked at a lot of spaces, and other restaurants offered to let us use their space for free. But I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Then this space happened to become available.”

Macs a la Mode forges a new friendship with the classic ice cream sandwich by substituting a macaron for the outermost layer — an addition that adds a crisp and chewy consistency to the mix. Not to mention, the desserts look picture-perfect in every Instagram photo.

Jenna says while many different confection shops have come in and out of Utah County, she believes her treat trend will have longevity because of the technical difficulty it takes to create the perfect macaron. And she has the corner on the round dessert.

“What sets us apart is the fact that macarons are trickier to make,” Jenna says. “It took a long time to perfect the recipe for my macaron sandwiches, and I didn’t want to put anything out that wasn’t going to be perfect. It takes a lot of time and patience.”

Macs a la Mode has a four-flavor menu: Fruity Pebbles, Cookies ‘n’ Cream, Chocolate, and a wild card that switches out every few weeks. Jenna says the demand for Fruity Pebbles outpaces the other flavors by 2X.

“It’s so nostalgic! I think that’s why Fruity Pebbles resonates with so many people,” Jenna says. “When my husband takes a bite, he says, ‘This is like Saturday morning cartoons.’”

To learn more about the flavor of the week or to see the beautifully-crafted macarons first-hand, check out their Instagram @macsalamode or visit their storefront at 934 N. State St. #109 in Orem. All macarons are $5, and games are available to play as an additional bonus to your night on the town.

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