PREP Member Spotlight for November goes to the one and only “Ché René Macarons and More.” PREP Atlanta Member Ché René Macarons and More bring southern finesse to the traditional french macaroon. Ché René Macarons and More pridefully gives customers unforgettable experiences through sweet southern hospitality. Owner and operator Ché Houston is a multi-talented artist from Georgia with over 26 years of baking experience. Ché does more than create delicious macarons, she provides an experience for her customers filled with art, food, and amazing service.
Ché René Macarons and More give opportunities and second chances to those who society has since shut out, as Che believes we all deserve to be given a second chance just as she was. Ché’s daily devotion to her spirituality and drive to give back keeps her grounded and motivates her to press through any business complications she faces. We all deserve Che’Rene’ Macarons, the “French Macarons with Southern Finesse.”
How did you become a part of the restaurant/food industry, and what was your first job?
My goodness, I first became a part of the restaurant/food industry at a local pizza shop at the sweet age of 16 years old. It was in my mid-twenties when I became intrigued by the art of decorating cakes.
How long have you been in Georgia, and what first brought you here?
I am proud to be a native of Atlanta, one of the greatest historic cities in the world. Everybody wants to make Atlanta home because we are a city that is continuing to thrive and grow. There are vast amounts of opportunities for business owners.
How did you choose your name?
It was not hard to choose a name for the business. My birth name is Che’ and I just needed something that exuded luxury and flowed, after about five minutes Rene’ made the cut. I have to say it flows nicely together Che’Rene’ Macarons “oui oui”
How did you come up with the idea for your new business?
I wanted to produce a product that would give a customer an experience they did not know was missing in their life, a product that is exclusive, speaks to your soul, leave you wanting more, and is profitable.
What are the essential skills for a new food concept?
The most important skills for a new food concept are observation, creativity, and cost-effectiveness, being able to identify the problem, or what is missing and is it a worthy investment.
Above all, What’s the most significant food business-related challenge that you had to struggle to overcome?
My biggest challenge has been balancing my full-time job and my business. By the end of 2020, Che’Rene’ Macarons was picking up momentum and the next level was approaching quickly, and strategic planning was key. As a new business owner, I could not achieve this alone. I obtained a leadership coach and a business coach. These have played an intricate role in assisting with my movement through my challenges, bringing my business ideas into perspective and allowing me to plan accordingly. I no longer jump into new deals or directions without guidance. This past year I have been able to delegate areas in my business that are not my expertise.
What prompted you to start a food business?
My inspiration for starting my own business began over 27 years ago. I worked in a local bakery packing cookies, but my attention was drawn to the cake decorating. I began making cakes for family and friends for extra money. The side hustle grew quickly as word began to travel about my delicious cakes and beautiful work. I side-hustled cake, cupcakes, and cake slices for 25 years. In 2016, I was given an opportunity to manage a local bakery. I turned their bakery around and sales grew tremendously. I knew in that moment; I could do this for myself.
What’s on your menu? Why did you choose this cuisine/product?
French Macarons is the product, but Southern Finesse is where the excitement begins, we have flavors such as Southern Peach Cobbler, Southern Banana Pudding and Cinna-Bun. I chose French macarons because they are some cuties😉. They are an exclusive luxury product, and I knew I could intrigue the taste experience.
What’s the best part of owning your own company?
The best part about owning my own company is knowing I am giving back what was given to me after a life of addiction and that is a second chance. I am creating employment opportunities for those whom society deemed hopeless. I am giving HOPE to lost dreams awakened.
What lessons have you learned since launching your own business?
The lessons I have learned are to educate yourself about back-office business by attending workshops, seminars, and surround yourself with other business leaders. I have learned to take my time and do not make hasty or emotional decisions. Be innovative, fresh and whatever you do, make sure you are consistent and stand on the principle of integrity, uphold the quality of your product and brand.
Is there anything you would have done differently at the start?
I would have saved money if I was in a position too.
How can someone buy your product?
Visit us cherenemacarons.com or
Honey Bubble Café
798 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE
Atlanta, Ga 30316
We ship Nationwide and Local Delivery in Atlanta, Ga
What would you do differently next time if you could relaunch your business?
I would attend core seminars on business, write the business plan and save, save, save before I launch.
Are any exciting news or events coming?
Our recent exciting news, we were the official dessert vendor for the SE Emmys After Party in Atlanta and the most exciting news is Che’Rene’ Macarons are now available at Honey Bubble Café in Midtown.