La Waffletz & Macaron Station, the Tacoma cookie and waffle bakery, closed Feb. 24 with little warning. The Freighthouse Square bakery counter was known regionally for its fine selection of Parisian macaron cookies and Belgian-style waffles.
The bakery was the project of husband-wife team Roger Martinho and Mirtha Sanchez, who opened the business as a dessert waffle counter in the food court in 2015.
At the time, it was one of the only cafes in Tacoma to offer liege waffles, savory waffles and elaborate dessert waffles.
They originally named the bakery La Waffletz. Martinho and Sanchez later added “Macaron Station” to the name.
It operated at 430 E. 25th St.
The owners announced the closing on their business Facebook page, dropping a hint that they will continue the bakery in some fashion. Martinho and Sanchez did not return messages asking for clarification.
“Please stay tuned for updates on where you can continue to find our macarons and other confections,” the note to customers read. “We look forward to serving you soon.”
Martinho told The News Tribune in previous interviews that he built a career in Europe as a pastry chef specializing in French pastries. His family was from Portugal, but he grew up in France. His Portuguese grandmother taught him to bake. He owned a bakery in Liege, Belgium at one point in his career.
Martinho and Sanchez met in the United States while working for the same pastry corporation. Martinho was the corporate pastry chef and Sanchez also specialized in pastry production.
When they decided to launch their own business, they started incrementally.
Martinho and Sanchez began selling their baked goods at farmers markets throughout the Puget Sound region, including in Tacoma.
“The customers are more open, more friendly. There’s more interchange and talking. We love the people in Tacoma,” he said in 2017 when explaining why the couple chose Tacoma as the home for their retail bakery extension in 2015.
The bakery offered the broadest and most fanciful selection of macaron cookies at a retail location in the city (outside of wholesale bakery Girl Loves Cake Desserts, which does not have a retail space).
There were often a dozen or more flavors in Martinho’s bakery case. He and Sanchez created straightforward flavors but also experimental tastes, such as Mexican-inspired Tajin flavored macaron and a surprising wasabi macaron.
Martinho was patient in explaining the Parisian cookies to those unfamiliar with them and kept a cheat sheet posted on the bakery case explaining the difference between coconut macaroons and macarons, the Parisian cookies he was known for. Martinho told bakery visitors that making macarons is a 24-hour process.
Those who bought macarons often went home with specific directions from Martinho. Keep the cookies refrigerated, they can last up to seven days that way, but be sure to bring to room temperature for at least 20 minutes before eating them, he would advise.
Find the bakery’s Facebook page at facebook.com/lawaffletz