Rosie Ginday MBE is founder and CEO of Miss Macaroon, a social enterprise that reinvests 100% of profits into helping unemployed young people gain skills that will help change their lives. Miss Macaroon is the only patisserie in the world that can Pantone colour match macaroons exactly to corporate and wedding colours. Rosie was awarded an MBE in 2019 for her services to the community providing support for young people facing long-term unemployment and is an England Committee Member at The National Lottery Community Fund.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
My name is Rosie Ginday, I created Miss Macaroon because I wanted to create a social enterprise business that combined my passion for premium quality food – born from my training as a high-end pastry chef at University College Birmingham – and my work in Michelin starred restaurant Purnell’s in Birmingham. But I also wanted to provide opportunities for young people seeking a career and to build confidence in themselves. My ultimate aim was to help youngsters break into a highly competitive industry while providing moments of sublime indulgence for my customers, who through buying our macaroons, are helping many young people to achieve their lifetime goals.
Miss Macaroon set up in 2011 with just one team member, a small kitchen space, £500 and a whole load of determination. We are now one of Birmingham’s most well renowned social enterprise companies with three sites and a team of 27, many of whom are graduates of the Macaroons that Make A Difference employability programme.
We reinvest 100% of our profits into helping unemployed young people gain skills that will help to change their lives. We are on a mission to bake a brighter future.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
I started Miss Macaroon as one of my close family members was in Care when he was a young child and I saw the impact it had on him. I wanted to make a difference for young people in similar situations that was more sustainable than giving away money or food and wanted to provide opportunities to grow. I opened my first business which was a vegan and vegetarian restaurant and artspace while teaching English as a foreign language in Taiwan. I got the bug for educating young people about food with the junior team members we employed there, so came back to England to build my skills and the idea for the social enterprise.
How did you achieve awareness?
Pre-start up I was lucky enough to win a competition run by Business In the Community that offered 2 hours of PR advice. Our PR manager Russ Cockburn from Cucumber PR gave so much more time and has done an incredible job in building our awareness. We’ve been fortunate to be featured in many promotions, our latest a Natwest advert shown on ITV. Alison Hammond joined our team for a day as an intern to learn how to make macaroons and about our social impact.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
In 2016 we raised our first round of investment to fund our new retail venture, starting with our first store in the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham City Centre.
In recognition of its success as a social enterprise, Miss Macaroon was awarded £150,000 of funding from the John Lewis Partnership’s Community Investment Fund earlier this year. The sum will fund the organisation’s newly-created Aspire scheme – tailored towards MacsMAD graduates aged 25-35 years old. The scheme works similarly to the Government’s Kickstart Programme, with a focus on career development through work experience over a six month period. It is tailored to each employee, with working hours made flexible to accommodate each individual’s needs.
What are the key successes?
Our most recent social impact report, available on the Miss Macaroon site, highlights the following improvements made in human wellbeing due to the MacsMAD scheme:
· 100% of our MacsMAD trainees feel the scheme has had a positive impact on their life.
· 86% of trainees feel more positive about the workplace since MacsMAD.
· 82% of our trainees are still in contact with their mentors.
· 91% of trainees feel more confident since MacsMAD.
· 100% of trainees would recommend MacsMAD to their friends and family.
Moreover, 93% of graduates are now either in work or training since graduating from the MacsMAD programme.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
The greatest challenges faced by Rosie came with the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, 90% of Miss Macaroon’s business was generated through corporate events such as exhibitions and conferences, as well as larger-scale gatherings such as weddings. Due to lockdown restrictions, these revenue streams were no longer available. Moreover, restrictions ensured that the Miss Macaroon store-front closed down for a considerable period of time – adding a further blow to the business. These changes prompted Rosie to innovate and adapt her business model in a relatively short space of time. Miss Macaroon’s web presence was increased, with individual customer orders becoming the dominant revenue stream for the social enterprise. Rosie also continued her efforts in gaining new customers in spite of the pandemic – with a focus on turning loyal customers into brand advocates and ambassadors. These efforts ensured that Miss Macaroon’s revenue stream continued throughout lockdown, which in turn ensured that the company’s work as a social enterprise was able to continue.
What are your plans now/for the future?
My plan is to expand on the Macsmad programme we are running at the moment. Getting as many young people into our courses as possible. This is also aided by the expansion of my office in Aston, which gives us more room to work in and teach young people. I am also recruiting psychology persons to work in my office, to understand the feelings and thought processes these young people go through.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
The main thing is to do something you enjoy. You need to connect with your purpose as it will drive you in the tough times and keep you resilient.
Surrounding yourself with lots of good advice is key, if you can find mentors, advisors and champions it will help you to grow so much quicker and smarter.
Lastly, as a social enterprise you can apply for different grants to pilot new programmes that support the community, keep in touch regularly with what is on offer.
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?