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Harford Magazine

Les Petits Bisous in Havre de Grace brings French-style macarons into the 21st century with flavors like maple bacon and fruity pebbles

It’s hard not to like Emily Yeatman, or Les Petits Bisous, her macaron shop on Havre de Grace’s North Washington Street. Inside, the store is filled with drawings from her step kids, motivational quotes, and the lovely aroma of butter.

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Emerging from the kitchen where she has been baking all morning, Yeatman, a 36-year-old mother of five is quick to share her life story and to offer up a bright array of macarons to customers.

Ever-so-delicate, macarons are one of those pastries that even trained chefs can struggle with. So it says a lot about Yeatman that she had never baked a macaron before she purchased Les Petits Bisous from its previous owner — and that she knocks them out of the park today.

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Emily Yeatman, owner of Les Petits Bisous, a French Macaron bakery, made these macarons at her bakery in Havre de Grace.    January 11, 2022

Did we mention? Yeatman painted her entire shop herself, grabbing a bucket of pink paint and a rickety ladder to do so. “I’m always like a DIY-person because I think there’s so much fun in that,” she said.

Just recently, Yeatman received a grant from the state of Maryland to help her expand into a previously-vacant space next door to her shop. There, she and friends will host events and classes for customers.

Before purchasing the shop in 2019, Yeatman was working as a public schoolteacher, but needed to find a new job to help support her family, which includes three step-kids and two children with her husband, a teacher named Jason Grahe.

An avid baker, she dreamed of launching her own baking school to combine her love of teaching with her passion for sweets. But as she set out to make it happen, she kept hearing the same thing from people over and over again.

“People kept saying, ‘Go see Wanda, she’s selling her bakery.’” They meant Wanda Boker, the previous owner of Les Petits Bisous, or “little kisses” in French, who was selling her business as she headed toward retirement.

At first, Yeatman wasn’t interested in taking over a bakery. As she planned her career change, Yeatman began working a six-to-midnight shift at a nearby grocery store to pay the bills. “Wanda came through my line,” Yeatman said. The two hit it off — and Yeatman made an offer on the business.

Emily Yeatman, owner of Les Petits Bisous, uses a piping bag to shape salted caramel flavored macarons in her Havre de Grace bakery.   January 11, 2022

Since taking over the business — and learning the craft of macaron baking from Boker — Yeatman has won fans and customers, many of whom have become personal friends. “The community just welcomed me with open arms even though the business had been closed for months,” Yeatman said.

French-style macarons conjure up images of Marie Antoinette and her friends at Versailles at tea. But in Harford County, Yeatman brings the confections into the 21st century. She asks customers what flavors they want to try — and makes them accordingly. Maple bacon and cotton candy, fruity pebbles and blackberry moonshine are all on the menu, baked to perfection and exquisitely presented.

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When the pandemic hit, Yeatman began accepting preorders during the week and setting up pickup times on weekends. At home, she spent her days trying to distract her four-year-old while her older children were upstairs attending classes online.

By night, she’d bake up goodies to sell to her customers on the weekend. “It’s a tiny shop but we made it work,” she said. “I’m very, very proud of that.”

Les Petits Bisous

100 Washington St. N, Havre de Grace. 410-652-3889. lespetitsbisous.com


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