Madame Munchie features a line of award-winning French macaron desserts with a mission to provide wellness relief and a delicious alternative for patients. Its carefully handcrafted edibles use only the best local ingredients and are lab tested to ensure potency, purity and consistent dosage levels. It’s no surprise that they are a patient favorite and have won First Place Best Edibles at the coveted High Times Cannabis Cup and Best Dessert at Hempcon 2016.
Madame Munchie is run by two women with impressive pedigrees. Kim was involved in asset management, investment banking and venture capital in Paris, New York and San Francisco before her foray into the cannabis industry. She also possesses a Master in Finance and Strategy from Paris’ Science Po. Ashley studied horticulture and fashion in San Francisco and the Bay Area. She worked in the family catering business, and was also a production manager and designer at a local couture house in San Francisco. She also spent 8 years cultivating cannabis in California.
How did you team up to form Madame Munchie?
We are both passionate about cannabis and wanted to change the stigma associated with it. With our combined skills and shared passion, we decided to risk everything we had achieved so far to start an edibles business. We spent a year studying and perfecting our baking techniques before Kim finally quit her venture capital job in December 2013 and we decided to commit ourselves full time to Madame Munchie. We are fueled by passion and the desire to work on something positive that we are genuinely proud of.
“The goal is to combine the gourmet quality of French pastries with the most natural sun grown cannabis to help change the social stigma around cannabis”
What is your niche?
We specialize in making French pastries and above all, medicated french macarons. Our bestselling flavors include Tropical Jungle, Grilled PB&J and our seasonal specials such as Pumpkin Spice and Salted Caramel Apple. ‘
So what is the difference between a “macaron” and a “macaroon”?
A macaron specifically refers to a meringue-based cookie made with almond flour, egg whites, and granulated and powdered sugar, then filled. The delicate treat has a crunchy exterior and a weightless interior with a soft ending that’s almost nougatlike in its chewiness.
A macaroon is a generic phrase that is applied to a number of small, sweet confections. Mostly, the term is equated with the moist and dense coconut macaroon, which is composed of egg whites, sugar, and dried coconut, often piped with a star-shaped tip, and sometimes dipped in chocolate.
How have you balanced responsibilities as business partners?
We have been business partners since day one. When it comes to balancing tasks, there are some areas where we are equally involved, such as baking, and others where our natural skills define our roles. Ashley oversees the cannabis cultivation and infusion process, vendor relations, and photography. Kim is in charge of business strategy, sales and product development.
How involved are your family and friends with your business?
Our families are not only aware of our business, but they are also incredibly supportive and some of our biggest fans / taste testers. Ashley’s family has extensive cultivation knowledge and Kim’s family provides business mentoring. Together, they have helped us keep our cannabis sourcing 100% in-house. We are incredibly grateful for their help.
What challenges have you encountered when starting your business?
We have encountered many challenges, the biggest being perhaps how to persevere at times when everything seems so uncertain. But our unwavering commitment to cannabis and legalization pushes us forward.
What advice can you give to budding edible makers who want to succeed in this industry?
Do it because you love it, and try to fill a need in the market. Take time making a product that you are proud of, that is lab tested, accurately dosed and professional. Keep patients’ needs in mind. Build a sustainable business- the edibles business is not a quick cash making business, so be ready for the long haul.
“Changing the image of cannabis, one macaron at a time.”
What is the future of Madame Munchie?
We hope to build Madame Munchie into an internationally recognized edibles manufacturing business, with quality being our primary mission.
How do you see the future of the cannabis industry?
Hopefully cannabis will be nationally legal and the war on drugs will have ended. Instead of wasting taxpayers’ money, we will be enriching our states and creating more employment. Medically, cannabis will be recognized as a safe alternative for a wide range of ailments and even covered by insurance policies. Recreationally, it will be no different from alcohol, and even discourage some from heavy drinking since they will be able to use cannabis openly in social settings and without stigma.