This page has been archived as it's no longer updated.

For the latest news, visit our main site.
Feed News
Almondine celebrate sweet success as patisserie turns one

Almondine celebrate sweet success as patisserie turns one

For a season so synonymous with boxes of truffles and chocolates, the sight of a duck egg blue box of macarons is enough to make anyone with sweet fatigue smile.

For Almondine’s beautiful Italian-style meringue shells, sandwiched with jam, ganache and buttercream and arranged in a rainbow of patisserie perfection has proved to be one of Aberdeen’s real independent success stories.

But as enticing as their array of pastel and berry-hued buttons of beauty are, the Williamson family consisting of mother Susan and daughters Jenny and Suzanne have been surprised at how popular their pastries and patisserie have been since opening their first shop on Thistle Street a year ago.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

"What we have found is as the weeks and months have passed, more and more customers were actually looking for patisserie items as well, whereas we thought we would solely be about the macarons," Suzanne said.

"It’s really not, and even having the French patisserie up the road, people are looking for something that is completely handmade which they know they can get here."

A knack for self-taught success, with Jenny introducing her sister and mother to macaron making in 2012, the past year has seen all three teach themselves the ways of French pastry making to stock the glass front counter with handmade croissants, pain au chocolate and delicate tartlets.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

Now, as the shop celebrates with the sing-song of joyeux anniversaire, Suzanne reminisces that it is incredible to think how far the business has come over the past two years, from their home kitchen to supplying weddings, events and parties across Aberdeen and Shire.

"The whole year has just been so exciting, my sister Jenny and I were both working full time before we opened the shop in December and even then I was working through December in my other job as well as doing this.

"I think that has just been the biggest highlight, just to leave my full-time job and do this. To work with your family as well, it’s just so exciting."

  (STV)
via STV via STV

Despite working in such close proximity with each other, Suzanne said the Almondine family gels well together just like their perfectly sandwiched macarons – although there have been a few family clashes along the way.

She explained: "I suppose like any family you have your moments anyway, and it’s probably just the same when you are in business together - you are going to have a few mishaps and misunderstandings in the beginning, but it’s amazing how quickly you smooth them out."

Growing the business in the small but perfectly formed Thistle Street patisserie has afforded the trio the chance to expand their original line of macarons, which they initially sold on weekends in adjacent florist David’s.

Although the Thistle Street site is all about folding laminated pastry dough and creating crumbling shortcrust, a kitchen a few miles away houses an industrial oven which is where the macaron magic now happens.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

It’s a far cry from whipping egg whites in the family kitchen, but the space has allowed Almondine to experiment with unusual flavour combinations such as Jenny and Suzanne’s favoured pink peppercorn.

Suzanne explained: "Because macarons are so new for Aberdeen you can be so creative and wild and wacky with flavours, but they are not necessarily going to be that popular so it’s about finding that balance between offering something a bit quirky and different for the more experienced palates, but also offering the classic plainer ones for people who are just being introduced to macarons.”

Traditionally French, the trio use the Italian macaron method which makes a shiner macaron.

Still the best seller since Almondine first folded ground almonds into pillows of whipped egg whites is salted caramel and Susan’s favourite flavour.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

Suzanne added with a laugh: "It’s really popular, sometimes people come in and want a box full of salted caramel. I don’t think we would be too popular if we got rid of that one."

Over the past year, the patisserie itself has changed slightly, wicker chairs replaced with sofas and chairs in that familiar hue of blue, and the family have stretched themselves to start offering larger tarts and Fraisier cakes alongside their popular macaron towers as gifts and last minute dessert fixes.

And Almondine has even been offering customers a little refreshment stronger than teas and coffees during December, with glasses of prosecco and mulled wine available to sip as a respite from Christmas shopping fatigue.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

And the compliments from customers have continued to roll in, with Suzanne adding that the patisserie’s French roots seem to have taken hold with Aberdonians.

"Some of the comments have been that it’s like a little bit of Paris and the fact that you have created that is just really exciting and a nice feeling."

We’ve updated our app to give you an even better experience. It’s packed full of everything happening in Aberdeen including all the latest news, brilliant events and great places to eat. If you enjoyed this page, why not get the app on Android or iOS?

Previous Next Close

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.

Let's get you set up on the STV Player.

This field is required. The code must be 5 characters long. Sorry, we don't recognise that code. Please try again.