Teen’s macaron business showcased in ‘Growing Maine’ video

University of Maine Cooperative Extension has released the seventh installment of “Growing Maine,” a series of short documentaries highlighting Maine food producers and farm families. The latest video in the series tells the story of 16-year-old entrepreneur who founded Simply Macarons by Jaelin.

The macaron is a French meringue-based, filled sandwich cookie — not to be confused with the American coconut macaroon. After lots of practice, product testing in collaboration with UMaine Extension and a research trip to Paris, Jaelin Roberts opened Simply Macarons in Bangor, Maine in 2016. She works each week to produce macarons that are sold at Ingrid’s Market and to fill custom orders on her Facebook page.

In the video, Roberts shares how she got started, as well as information about the science of making a perfect macaron. With support and help from her mother, who credits a UMaine Extension food entrepreneur workshop as an early resource, Roberts’ business is thriving. Working with UMaine Extension includes trying out new products, a story that she shared as part of her acceptance speech for a young entrepreneur award from Hardy Girls, Healthy Women.

The “Growing Maine” video series helps consumers get to know their food sources better, as farmers and producers share their behind-the-scenes perspectives on how decisions are made. For those aspiring to farm, the videos are a way to hear directly from farmers and producers about what is most important to them.

UMaine Extension helps support and grow the food-based economy statewide, and is the only entity that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, education, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated.

Videos in the “Growing Maine” series can be viewed online. Viewers also have the opportunity to suggest future story ideas for new videos that will be released throughout the year. For more information, contact Leslie Forstadt at 581.3487 or leslie.forstadt@maine.edu.