Houston dessert shop donates 5,000 macarons to critical essential workers

Sukaina Rajani, owner of MACARON by Patisse, shares the sweet way her small business is showing appreciation to healthcare workers, first responders and grocery store employees.

HOUSTON – As stay-home orders continue to remain in effect, many local businesses are struggling with revenue and providing regular paychecks to their employees. Sukaina Rajani, owner of MACARON by Patisse, says the transition has been difficult. The majority of their sales comes from catering, which has been suspended due to social-distancing limitations. Currently, only one of their four locations is operating on limited hours.

“The first week, I panicked quite a bit,” said Rajani. “As a small business owner, it is scary, but the Houston community never ceases to amaze me. Just like when we’re going through a hurricane or a natural disaster, the community just comes together.”

Many of Rajani’s friends and clients expressed interest in supporting her small business during this difficult economic period. Moved by their gestures, Rajani decided to pay it forward by asking for donations to fund free macarons for healthcare workers, first responders and grocery store employees.

Sukaina Rajani, owner of MACARON by Patisse, donates thousands of macarons to critical essential workers. (KPRC)

“A lot of people are talking about donating food, and some of my friends made a comment like 'Yea, it’s really great that we have all this food coming in, but it would be really nice to get some macarons,” said Rajani.

For the project, customers can purchase macarons at a discounted rate for donation. MACARON by Patisse covers the remaining cost to make the macarons and delivers them to organizations in need of a little pick-me-up. So far, they have been able to donate about 5,000 macarons to Houston Methodist Hospital, Memorial Hermann and various first responders. MACARON by Patisse is also reaching out to grocery chains like Kroger and H-E-B to show appreciation to their employees as well.

Sukaina Rajani, owner of MACARON by Patisse, donates thousands of macarons to critical essential workers. (KPRC)

“There’s some people that can make masks. There’s some people that are importing protective gear,” said Rajani. “I can’t do any of that stuff, so you might as well do what you can.”

For Rajani, the experience has been rewarding in more ways than one. Aside from being able to spread some cheer amongst hospital staff and first responders, the project has allowed her employees to continue working and find some normalcy.

“For us, the most beautiful part is that my staff have a reason to come in and make macarons still,” said Rajani. “It’s keeping the morale up, and it just feels like a happy place again.”

In addition to delivering colorful cookies, Rajani has also been making posters filled with supportive comments from donors. She hopes this personal touch will further boost morale amongst those hard workers who need it most.

“Everyone has just been so happy. I think when they see these bags of macarons come in, everyone gets really excited," said Rajani. “I’ve had people email and send Instagram messages thanking us from bringing them by."

Rajani is not surprised by the Houston community’s positive response to this project. She fully believes in and knows others recognize the magic of macarons.

“Macarons just are pretty, and they make people happy, and they’re that momentary bliss away from everything that’s happening," said Rajani. “Sending them out - it’s just been a good experience.”

For more info on MACARON by Patisse, click here.

About the Author:

Olivia Kolanek is the Features Producer of KPRC 2's Houston Life. She joined the KPRC family in the summer of 2019 after working in non-profit communications for three years. She is passionate about creating content that features good people, good food or a good story. Olivia is a University of Houston alumna, Audible junkie and scuba novice.