AG Macarons (Dupont St.)
AG Macarons is a retail outlet on Dupont devoted to -- surprise! -- macarons. It's a boutique branch of the Etobicoke bakery owned by Anet Gesualdi, a hobbyist turned professional who fell in love with the two-bite confections after honeymooning in Paris.
Gesualdi learned her craft at the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts, and took months perfecting it before initially opening a wholesale operation. She's since built a business supplying bakeries and grocery stores, as well as retailing party favours and show-stopping towers and pyramids for weddings and events.
This new shop inhabits a building that's been in the Gesualdi family for 65 years. In its latest incarnation, the boutique serves as a showroom offering visual examples for potential custom orders, as well as a place to showcase merchandise including giftwares, cake stands, aprons, and greeting cards.
In the back, a studio will host interactive workshops that'll appeal to recreational party planners. Think cookie decorating, floral arrangement and calligraphy - intimate single day events run by specialists in their respective fields.
Macarons (brought in from the Etobicoke bakery), are of course the focal point, and 21 flavours are on display in a case ready to be purchased individually ($2.25), or packaged as six ($13), twelve ($24), or twenty four ($52) at a time. A mixed package of "minis" (5 for $7) appear to be an excellent value as the macarons are hardly smaller than the regular size.
Strawberry cream, toasted coconut, red velvet, and pistachio are among the 14 staple flavours in stock, while the rest of the selection changes monthly or seasonally. Limited edition flavours currently in rotation for the summer include pink lemonade, orange creamsicle, and jelly doughnut.
They are all very pretty, uniform examples of macarons and appreciatively there are samples to try before you buy. The subtle and not too sweet chai latte and blackberry cassis prove to be my favourites. The birthday cake sprinkled in confetti and smack full of buttercream, is less up my alley, though it does hit the thematic mark.
A lineup of Sloane teas are offered in takeout cups - hot ($2.65), on ice ($2.75), or mixed with lemonade ($3.45) - while tins and gift sets are in stock too.
Aside from macarons there are few other edibles to be had. Pre-packaged sugar cookies, chocolates and macarons are available but in far fewer quantities.
The sweet little shop is a nice addition to the neighbourhood - it might not offer the sprawling selection like Loblaws across the street, but there's something to be said about doing just one thing and doing it really well.
Photos by Jesse Milns