This Downtown bakery creates decadent sweets to bring people together. Hummingbird Macarons is a luxury dessert brand aiming to make the world sweeter. Their specialty lies with macarons and cakes though you would be remiss to let the eclairs, tarts or ice cream sandwiches pass you by.
Owner Kisha Moore opened the dessert shop in 2014 and explains it symbolizes intersections in life. “This space is a representation of people getting together. We share this one moment together. What better way than spending time enjoying a treat made with love.”
Establishing a business around these bites of magic did not happen overnight. They have been thoughtfully created for the community over many years. We unpack this with Kisha as she lets us in on the reasons, passions and stories that led her to today.
How It All Began
Creativity and artistic expression have surrounded Kisha since she was a young girl. She has always had an affinity for art and found her way to culinary school as a way to hone skillsets she could put to use for others. “My mom made cakes, and [baking] was another expression of art for me. I wanted to carve out a place of creativity. I like taking creative concepts and applying them to food,” she shares. Kisha pursued an education in cuisine to bring culinary experiences to people who did not know they existed in the world.
Kisha began creating macaron magic in a bistro she owned prior to opening Hummingbird. “When I started making macarons, no one was making them in this area. I like to curate things, make beautiful desserts and put them into a context that is really special. It is the essence of what we do and what we create here,” Kisha divulges. Hummingbird opened as more than a bakery. The shop bakes collections of desserts that take on a life of their own.
The Hummingbird Experience
Hummingbird is in the game of elevating the dessert experience and satisfying your sweet tooth. “I like using elements that create a blank canvas for desserts. There is something fun about treats that are handy and photographable. They can become a part of any setting,” Kisha explains. The menu is complete with mainstays — macarons and cakes — as well as cookies, ice cream sandwiches (yes, made in the form of macarons!) and the newest addition, eclairs. Each treat is drool-worthy in its own right and is packed with flavor. Drop by the bakery to enjoy a bite on-the-move or place an order online in preparation for an upcoming celebration.
The current flavors in the macaron collection are Kisha’s favorite to date. “In seven years, these are my favorite. I don’t know if it is because it has been the most satisfying for me [to make] or if the flavors speak to me more. They are the most exotic and unique we have had.” For example, a black pepper bourbon scotch macaron makes the list.
Everything the shop bakes represents their passions and purpose. Kisha emphasizes, “For me, our desserts cannot talk and do not have a voice, but when we send them out into the world, they are our mouthpiece. They become the ones doing the talking and they become a part of that story.” Kisha wishes each customer leaves Hummingbird with a great sense of wellbeing.
The Hummingbird team sets aside a full week to make a new collection, which is made up of 6-8 macarons or eclairs. Kisha is inspired to make flavor combinations that are not common. She does so with prompts that come to her throughout daily life. “I want to bring a part of the world into our community.” She continues, “I was eating Cheez-Its (she swears by the extra toasty ones) and chocolate one day. I thought this is going to make a great cookie!” This is Kisha’s natural-born gift; her creative mind met with an exceptional palate gives her the instinct to create new flavors and know exactly how to apply it.
Taste testers? You betcha. Kisha and the team taste test and cleanse their palates throughout the process to ensure they have gotten each flavor just right. “During the tasting process, we ask each other: ‘is there enough of this’ and ‘can you pick out this taste or flavor?’”
Proudest Moment & Biggest Obstacle
Kisha’s proudest moments are credited to her dedicated team. She explains, “My team stuck it out through [the pandemic]. We did not just ride on a roller coaster; the tracks were ripped up as we went. They showed up asking how they could help and smiled through it.”
The biggest obstacle to running a small business for Kisha is also attributed to her team. “We are dealing with people who have wills and there is so much to that (alluding to depths of taxes and employment). The obstacle is understanding why this is a reciprocal relationship. I understand my goal [as a business owner]; how we turn it, observe it and understand it is instrumental. I will always strive to make my team and the community better.”
Kisha shares her empathy and understanding for the curve balls life throws our way. “We strive for excellence but we do not live in perfection. We have walked it out and we care; it is about how you see things the way they are now.”
The pandemic has sharpened Kisha’s vision for Hummingbird. “My dream is still the same but it has given me more clarity — to cut off things that weren’t truly part of it. Good ideas but not necessities. Whether it is disruptors or trying times in your lives, if it disrupts your vision, it was not secure enough.”
Advice for Aspiring Business Owners
To fellow entrepreneurs, Kisha encourages you to count the costs and see where there is room for growth in the future. “I have laid it on the line every time I have had to make a move. I believe that is what it takes every time. If you are taking a risk and you are not all in, you do not believe in it enough.”
Kisha’s wisdom left a lasting impression on us and we hope you will take it with you too: “Let your defenses down enough to be loved on. Let’s walk this out together if you are willing to.”
How to Experience All That Hummingbird Has to Offer
Get a taste of the sweet life at Hummingbird, a place appreciating things in life that taste sweet but also make life sweet. The bakery’s storefront is located in Downtown Norfolk at 809 Granby Street.
Get your hands on the new eclair collection and savor the flavors of Lemon Lavender, Vanilla Birthday and Pumpkin Cheesecake or keep it classic with the shop’s signature macarons. Preparing for a celebration — birthday, wedding or Friday night in? Place an order online. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with the latest too.