Nela & Zara are the baking masterminds behind Shirini Bakery! The two sisters make Persian-inspired macaroons & desserts–a nod to their Iranian roots. The recipes they use are based off the traditional recipes that they learned from their father (AKA Baba). Keep reading to learn more about Shirini!
When was Shirini Bakery founded, and how’d you get started?
Shirini was founded in 2018 and launched in April of 2019. I was interning at the WellStar Foundation back in 2018 and brought a box of Classic Macaroons to a meeting. Everyone loved them so much so I continued bringing them. I eventually found myself taking orders from coworkers within the department for their friends and family and spent all my free time learning about the food industry and writing out business ideas until Shirini was created.
Where do you get inspiration for your baked goods?
A lot of our flavors and pastries are inspired by our heritage and what we grew up eating in our home. Our Classic Coconut Macaroon was a common dessert our dad baked for us growing up which became the foundation of Shirini. Being who we are, we started playing around with this traditional recipe by using spices our mom added to Iranian dishes and incorporating our favorite classic desserts we grew up on, one being a delicious slice of birthday cake.
Tell us about all of your products!
Almost all of our macaroons are a spin on the traditional flavors common to our Persian heritage. Our traditional flavors such as the Classic Coconut, Almond, and Walnut Macaroon are really popular in Iran. After a lot of experimenting we learned how to perfectly incorporate and pair different flavors to create irresistible macaroon combinations. We now have 12 macaroon flavors - one flavor that we switch out monthly, known as our Mac of the Month! Our June flavor, Piña Colada, is a summer treat you won’t want to miss out on!
Our cakes - a new addition to our menu that you can preorder! We currently have three staple cakes that are the perfect contrast of traditional Persian cuisine and staple American flavors. We use light and fluffy flavours that are aromatic, sweet and nutty!
Goli Cake - Our fluffy pistachio cake is frosted with a rose whipped cream and topped with dried rose and crushed pistachios. This is our favorite dessert to pair with a cup of hot Persian tea.
Shirin Cake - This is what we call our Persian-inspired Carrot Cake. We’re a sucker for Southern Style Carrot Cake and had to add our own spin to it by adding a dash of our essential Persian ingredients: saffron and dried barberries. It’s a game changer!
Badam Cake - Our delicious grain-free and dairy-free Almond Cake is the perfect afternoon treat. We love topping ours with some fresh fruit!
What’s it like to run a business as sisters?
Running a business is hard, but it’s a lot easier to handle when you have someone just as passionate to share it with! We’ve always been pretty close and now we’re practically attached at the hip. We’re alike in many ways yet very different so it’s been a lot of fun creating together. All in all, It’s taken a lot of hard work and communication in order to get to where we are now, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are both of your favorite macaroon flavors?
Nela: I love fresh and fruity flavors so my top two would be our Lìmo Zest and Zereshk. Lìmo is so fresh and the sweet and tart combination of our Zereshk is a flavor I can’t get enough of.
Zara: Depends on the day! It’s hard to pick just one. I really love our Felfel flavor, but our Birthday Cake is also really addictive...and so is our Shokolàt. I have a major sweet tooth! This is why we offer the Shirini Sampler, you get to have it all!
If you didn’t own a macaroon business, what would you do?
Nela: I can’t imagine my life right now without Shirini but if I never started this, I would probably still be working on another business idea that revolves around creativity and interacting with others.
Zara: If I wasn’t baking for Shirini I would still be baking at home for fun! It’s always been a passion of mine. Career wise, I would probably be in the medical field.
Try Nela & Zara's macaroons for yourself! You can add the Shokolàt & Birthday Cake flavors on to any G&G delivery from our local market.