San Juan College Small Business Development Center and Harvest Food Hub & Kitchen help Camille Turner bring her business to life.
In March of 2021, Camille Turner, her husband Brian and their three children were enjoying a trip to Epcot at Disney World. Little did she know, that stopping for ice cream would mark the beginning of a new, sweet, delectable adventure that would turn into Camille’s Macarons & More – A French Bakery & Dessert Food Truck.
Ice cream plus macarons = sweet success
“We are huge ice cream lovers, so we naturally walked straight into the ice cream shop,” says Turner. “I decided to try something new and ordered a strawberry macaron ice cream sandwich. I instantly loved it and ordered three more.” Turner says she couldn’t stop thinking about the delicate twist and perfect combination of macaron and ice cream. When she couldn’t find that concoction anywhere in the area, she decided to take on the intricate task of making macarons herself.
Support of family
Turner, who holds a degree in elementary education, had taken some time off from teaching to stay home with her children and says the support and encouragement of her family was everything. “I am trying to teach my kids to be brave and work hard for what you want.” She also credits knowledge gained through the San Juan College (SJC) Harvest Food Hub & Kitchen and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as keys to her successful business launch.
San Juan College offers resources to help
“I had a yummy product and an idea,” says Turner; but, “starting a business without the resources at San Juan College would have been very overwhelming.” She enrolled in the Food Entrepreneur Applied Training (FEAT) course through the SJC Harvest Food Hub and SJC Community Learning Center. After 11 weeks, Turner and her fellow students walked away with invaluable insights, community connections and a completed business plan.
Small Business Development Center & Enterprise Center
The Small Business Development Center at San Juan College was able to help Turner in several areas, including understanding financing options, plus local, state and federal regulations and taxes. Turner says the center was very helpful in guiding her as she focused on the direction of her business. The SBDC, along with the San Juan College Enterprise Center, offer a wide range of services and support for new and existing businesses to help them succeed.
Harvest Food Hub & Kitchen
The SJC Harvest Food Hub & Kitchen offers a variety of classes and workshops for food entrepreneurs as well as support and resources for local farmers and food producers. This year the Harvest Food Hub was named an awardee in the “Food Producer” category of the 2023 Golden Chile Awards, from the New Mexico Grown Coalition. The Golden Chile Awards celebrate and commend statewide efforts aimed at promoting good nutrition and supporting New Mexico’s farming economy.
"Fancy" arrives on the scene
From a freezer full of macaron ice cream sandwiches, to a food truck named “Fancy,” Turner has expanded her menu to include an amazing line-up of macaron ice cream sandwich flavors, to buttercream filled macarons, crème Brule, crepes and Italian sodas. You will find all the sweet treats on Camille’s Macarons a la Mode Facebook page. The journey from a dream to a thriving business is never easy, but Camille’s Macarons & More proves that determination, hard work and education, along with the support of family and community can make it sweet.
For more information on the Harvest Food Hub and Kitchen, call 505-566-3964 or visit SJC Harvest Food Hub and for more information on the Small Business Development Center, visit Small Business Development Center or call 505-566-3528.