Free macarons, you say? Sweet local deal from Facebook


Facebook has discovered an Anchorage bakery already known by locals as a macaron mecca.

But with the help of the social media giant, Sweet Caribou is about to get a whole lot of sweet publicity.

Facebook partnered with Sweet Caribou as the Alaska location to launch a new “Birthday Stories” feature that allows Facebook users to create more creative birthday greetings for their friends. Sweet Caribou rose to the top because it has so successfully used Facebook and Instagram to grow its business.

As a part of the Facebook Birthday Stories launch, Sweet Caribou will give away free macarons on Friday between 10 am and 6 pm, or until the specialty confection runs out. Facebook is footing the bill for the giveaway of the puffy pastry that the company now ships all over the world from the little mall at the corner of 36th Street and Arctic Ave, right next to Uncle Leroy’s Coffee. (Jen’s Restaurant is just a few doors down.)

“Not to be confused with coconut macaroons, our Parisian macarons are made with almond flour, making them naturally (and deliciously!) gluten free,” wrote owner James Strong, whose sister Barbara Strong is the company’s executive flavorologist. While Sweet Caribou’s focus is on macarons,  it also crafts artisan cupcakes, cookies, brownies, blondies, salads,  lunch bowls, and other prepared foods. When it caters, it often provides show-stopping macaron towers.

Facebook is doing a similar launch at one bakery in every state on Friday to showcase the Birthday Stories feature, a new type of story where friends, family, and everyone in realm can add digital birthday cards, photos or videos to a story to celebrate your birthday.

The result, Facebook says, is a ‘happy birthday message’ that is more visual, memorable, interactive, and fun.

When the feature launches on Friday, tap on the birthday notification, shoot or upload a photo or short video or use one of our digital birthday cards, and you’ve instantly got an eye-catching birthday wish. Your wish gets added to your friend’s birthday story, creating a personalized birthday slideshow for them.

Sweet Caribou and Facebook are going to honor Anchorage resident (and another small business owner) Linda Leary, whose birthday happens to be Friday.

We caught up with Leary at a Visit Anchorage trade show today where she was publicizing her line of women’s outdoor wear, Fishewear, which also has grown from the “back-of-a-napkin” concept to a thriving local company exporting all over the country, with the help of Facebook and Instagram. Leary also consults to the resource and logistics industries and teaches women to fly fish.