Seattle earns new macaron shop on Capitol Hill

Who couldn't use more sweet treats in 2020?

Alexandra's Macarons

Alexandra's Macarons

Courtesy Joop V/Yelp

Strolling through Cal Anderson Park or nabbing a pint on Capitol Hill? You may want to stroll just a few blocks over for some of the neighborhood’s newest sweet treats.

Alexandra’s Macarons officially debuted in late October, posing a sugary, sweet new opening amid more than 70 restaurant and bar closures around Seattle as a result of restrictions in place due to the novel coronavirus.

Kickstarted by the local Alexandra Greenwald in 2013, the woman-owned business began as just a dream. Greenwald spread her sweet macarons by word-of-mouth, slowly gaining a cult following behind her weekly flavor offerings including earl grey and choco-latte.

Spreading sweetness through farmer’s markets and wholesale accounts around the Ballard area, Greenwald officially launched her own storefront of baked goodies and macarons nestled between Capitol Hill and the Central District.

“Cooking and baking has been central to my life since the day my dad caught me rummaging through a drawer of kitchen utensils back in my diaper days,” Greenwald said. “I was immensely curious and started getting creative with food early on. In a family full of undiagnosed foodies, I had a great playground to begin honing my craft.”

Sugary confections weren’t always Greenwald’s work life, however. She originally trained as a chef, specializing in culinary arts and international baking and pastry. She moved from sous chef in fast-paced bistros and baker in beloved cafes, to head chef aboard a luxury yacht, traveling for culinary work across Florida, South Hampton, New York, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and now Seattle.

Her hand-piped French macarons have quickly gained fame alongside rotating flavors of salted caramel and dark chocolate sea salt.

“Food is my passion. Period. For me, food is more than something to be consumed; it is an artistic medium and a source of endless possibility,” Greenwald said.

With such a deep culinary history, why did she end up pursuing a life paired with tiny French sweets? Her passion behind macarons dates back to her younger years.

“Macarons stole my heart when I was in middle school and spied them in the bakery case of the local French bakery,” she said. “I loved the whimsy of their bright colors and the crunch of their delicate meringue. I took on the challenge of mastering them my first year of culinary school and I haven’t looked back since. I was hooked.”

Carefully combining egg whites, sugar and almond flour, Greenwald embraces the versatility of the highly-fashionable tiny bites.

Greenwald is also joined by Gertrude, a hot pink, 1973 Volkswagen Bus.

“Anyone who believes in the Seattle Freeze need only cruise around with Gertrude and I for a few blocks to believe once again in the soft heart of humanity,” Greenwald said. “People can’t help but smile when they see her — and many wave, shout out greetings, or flash the infamous VW peace sign.”

Alongside Gertrude and the Alexandra’s Macarons storefront, Greenwald utilizes the 4-wheeled friend for pop-ups, deliveries and special events.

For now, we’re throwing a peace sign to Gertrude, and enjoying all manner of macarons, spiced pop tarts, loaves of country bread, take-and-bake cookies, prepared pizza dough and even macaron ice cream sandwiches cranked out of the newest Alexandra’s Macarons and Café.

The new café in the Central District sits at 1410 18th Ave., open daily, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Online orders can also be picked up at Greenwald’s Ballard bakeshop Wednesday through Friday.


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