Of The Moment: Elisa Marshall

Elisa MarshallElisa Marshall

“The soul of Maman to me is about the details.”

We’ve been fans of Maman–the charming bakery that invokes the peace and nostalgia of your mother’s living room complete with effortless comfort, rustic decor, and mouth watering pastries from their almond croissant filled with buttery frangipane and topped with sliced almonds and powdered sugar to their decadent double chocolate cookie (which is also Oprah’s favorite) which give Maman an addicting je ne sais quoi–not to mention, their Greenpoint location is two blocks away from J.McLaughlin HQ. Upon entering, there is a small neighborhood comfort, charming blue and white filled aesthetic, and a “I want everything” menu for breakfast, lunch, and bites. It’s no wonder that  Maman’s founder and creative director Elisa Marshall is every bit as iconic, influential, and stylish as her Maman locations. We sat down with Elisa over matcha lattes to talk about her incredible journey and the growth of her dream, the best shortbread recipe, and spring style.

Elisa MarshallElisa Marshall


Elisa Marshall


New York City


Founder & Creative Director Maman

Lavender in bunny vaseLavender in bunny vase

Lavender Haze. Each aspect of Maman is perfectly thought through including this whimsical Bunny Vase.

The Inspiration Behind Maman:

My ‘maman’ and who we named the cafes after. My mom was the biggest inspiration in this project as she is the one who instilled in me a love and passion for the kitchen and ignited my creativity!

Advice To Female Entrepreneurs:

Don’t follow the crowd & take risks.

Be unique, be different and don't do what everyone else is doing. I didn’t want to open a regular store, I wanted to build a world for myself where I put together everything I love under one roof, and interact with amazing customers who enjoy it as much as I do. I know too many people who settle for where they are and jobs they don’t enjoy because they are afraid to go out, take risks & pursue their dreams. It will not come to you and you have to not be afraid to go get it! 

Every Good Kitchen Needs:

Maman’s almond croissant and chocolate chip cookieMaman’s almond croissant and chocolate chip cookie

A sweet start to the day with Maman’s almond croissant and chocolate chip cookie. P.S. This chocolatey goodness is Oprah’s favorite chocolate chip cookie.

My Go-To Coffee Order:

Large americano with a splash of whole milk in a pretty cup!

Currently Inspired By:

My most recent trip to Amsterdam was filled with so much beauty everywhere. There was an incredible sense of street style, amazing cafés & coffee culture, and the most warm and welcoming people.

Never Did I Think I Would:

Live in NYC and own 26 bakeries and counting…

What to make for Valentine’s Day…

  1. Dinner For Your SO: Kids in bed early along with three cheese fondue dinner with brioche croutons and roasted vegetables and a bottle of red wine.

  2. Breakfast For Yourself: Almond butter banana split parfait.

  3.      A Sweet Treat For Your Girlfriends: Champagne cake with crème fraiche and strawberries.
Treat yourself to sweet treats at MamanTreat yourself to sweet treats at Maman

Treat yourself

This Year, I’ll Be Spending Valentine’s Day Doing…

Valentine’s Day arts and crafts with my little ones followed by a relaxing night in with my husband!

When I Need Inspiration I…

Turn to Pinterest.


“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful, and that will be my life” – Elsie de Wolfe

Maman’s coffee curriculumMaman’s coffee curriculum

Always keep your glass half full with Maman’s coffee curriculum.


See the glass half full.


Wake up not excited for life.

The Best Piece Of Life Advice I’ve Ever Received:

“Don’t be like the rest of them darling…”

Maman’s homemade oreosMaman’s homemade oreos

A gooey chocolate exterior with a delicious creamy center, Maman’s homemade oreos are the ultimate indulgence.

Favorite Indulgence:

Maman’s homemade oreos.

Currently Reading/Listening To:

Playa Healing Hair MasquePlaya Healing Hair Masque

Playa’s luxurious hair masque is a must-have.

My Beauty Must-Haves:

Playa Beauty Hair products and Bloomeffects Royal Tulip Nectar – I’m not much of a makeup person and focus on my hair & skin!

My Personal Style:

Neutral, elevated, comfortable & sometimes sparkly! 

Elisa wearing the Marlowe Blazer, Rainey Jean, and Krissa Suede HeelsElisa wearing the Marlowe Blazer, Rainey Jean, and Krissa Suede Heels

Favorite J.McLaughlin Styles:

Grandma Gracie’s Shortbread CookiesGrandma Gracie’s Shortbread Cookies

Grandma Gracie’s Shortbread Cookies. Photo by Linda Xiao courtesy of Cherry Bombe.

Grandma Gracie’s Shortbread CookiesGrandma Gracie’s Shortbread Cookies

Family traditions. Grandma Gracie’s Shortbread Cookies are the sweetest Valentine’s Day treat.

Favorite Valentine’s Day Recipe:

Grandma Gracie's Shortbread Cookie

Makes 24 cookies


3 cups (435 grams) all-purpose flour

½ cup (60 grams) cornstarch 

2 cups (4 sticks / 450 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature 

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 ½ cups (195 grams) confectioners’ sugar

5 ounces (140 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped, or ¾ cups (140 grams) semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 300°F. (150°C.) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium for about 3 minutes, or until creamy. Add the almond extract. With the mixer on low, gradually add 1 cup (130 grams) of the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fully combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for about 3 minutes more or until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches and beat on medium for about 2 minutes, or until fully combined. Fold in the chocolate. Roll the dough into 1 ½ to 2-inch (3.75 to 5-cm) balls and arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are light brown—the tops will remain pale. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely. 

Place the remaining ½ cup (65 grams) of confectioners’ sugar in a wide, shallow bowl and set a wire rack inside a baking sheet. 

Roll the cooled cookies in the confectioners’ sugar then place on the rack set inside the baking sheet. The shortbread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.