The warmth and good food that are the soul of Macrina Bakery & Café owe their origins to owner-chef Leslie Mackie - one of the most esteemed figures on the national artisan baking scene. Leslie is happiest watching customers enjoy her mouth-watering breads, buttery pastries and tender coffee cakes.
Macrina started as a dream long before the doors opened on August 27, 1993. This dream followed me through culinary school at the California Culinary Academy, kept me company as I traveled the world, especially in France and Italy, and pushed me as I trained under acclaimed chefs Lydia Shire and Susan Regis at Biba in Boston. The long, slow fermentation process that the European master bakers utilized intruiged me, so I spent years experimenting, mixing science and intuition. To me, making bread is being an artist. In France, bakers are revered because bread is such a central part of the family and community. Later on, while I was working as the head baker at Grand Central Bakery, I finally felt ready. Over 15 years I had slowly gained the experience and confidence necessary to bring Macrina to life.
I opened Macrina in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle. The original bakery was small, holding an antique bakers cooling rack packed with a dozen varieties of fresh baked bread and a pastry case with scones, lemon tarts, walnut biscotti, fresh fruit coffee cake and panini sandwiches. We opened with six employees. Now, we have four cafeés and many more employees. As our wholesale operation continues to expand, one of the great rewards is finding Macrina's breads and pastries in some of my favorite supermarkets and restaurants, and seeing others enjoy them as much as I do.
The journey has been dizzying at times, like when I was featured on Julia Child's Baking with Juilia, or when the James Beard Foundation nominated me for an Outstanding Contributor Award. A community blessing has been my membership in the Bread Bakers Guild of America and the Seattle Chapter of Les Dames d´Escoffier.
My dream of Macrina has reached heights I'd never imagined. But throughout it all, one thing has never changed: bread is the foundation of every meal I serve. Gathering to share a meal, to break bread with family and friends, and to enjoy the simple pleasure of good food and community is the richest part of my life. It is why I do what I do.
Thank you for supporting our artisanal bakery.