So it happened. Last month Savor Patisserie opened in downtown McKinney, and now citizens near and far can pop in for colorful bites of French macarons.
Like many of you know, I have a small obsession with color, and stepping into a shop where the star is tiny candy-colored French cookies is just about my undoing. Macarons are basically a fancy French Oreo made of a creamy filling sandwiched between two light but crispy cookies. Honestly y’all, I could use one right now. Pistachio…or maybe lavender.
After wondering into Savor Patisserie a few weeks ago I reached out to owner, Kelli Watts, and was able to hear the Savor story, which surprisingly is a short and very successful one.
Kelli grew up in the kitchen cooking with her grandmother and French mother. “I grew up loving to bake. My dad’s mom was one of those super traditional Texas women that cooked three meals a day with all the home-made desserts in between,” she told me. After moving to New York City post college, Kelli was introduced to macarons at Ladurée NYC and literally fell in love, “How had I never seen these before?” she laughed. “My mother is French!” She began experimenting with different recipes upon her move back to Texas and got it wrong more often than not: batches that melted on the pan, exploded in the oven, too crispy, too soft, not the right flavor, all failures essentially lead her to create her own recipe which is still used in the Savor Patisserie today.
Kelli always had a desire to start her own business and once the Savor recipe was perfected she began taking orders from friends and family who desired exquisite French treats to give as gifts or to sweeten up baby showers and parties. Her business boomed and in January 2016, Kelli began looking for a spot to have a pop-up shop in time for Valentine’s Day. A broker at the shops at Park Lane offered her over 3000 square feet for a temporary storefront which she partitioned off the front to become Savor Patisserie. She stayed there 6 months and made enough to make the hefty Dallas rent. In August 2016 their permanent Dallas location was secured at Casalinda Plaza and in January 2017 Savor Patisserie opened in Fort Worth on West 7th Street. McKinney would follow on September 16, 2017. Not bad for an entrepreneur who just turned 30.
A fashion degree from University of North Texas provided Kelli with an eye for aesthetics. Her patisseries follow a strict black and white schematic, allowing the colorful confections to take center stage. The shop in McKinney is a great combination of old and new with the tell-tale Savor black and white mixed with the antique brick of historic downtown McKinney. All Savor macarons are made at an offsite production kitchen in Dallas, and then sent to each store within 24 hours. Macarons are meant to be made, to sit in the refrigerator over night, and then consumed at room temperature. “They have a really great shelf life,” Rachel, the operations manager, told me, “Macs can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for 6 months.”
Although Savor is the only storefront to offer traditional French macarons in McKinney, there are 5-6 spots in Dallas to find them. Why are Kelli’s different? Well, her recipe is her own, not all bakeries can say that, and can I tell you Kelli’s macarons are absolutely DELICIOUS. DELICIOUS! Honestly, friends, you will be shocked at how soft and flavorful they are at first bite. Many of Kelli’s macarons are decorated, a trend she began and others quickly followed suit. “We go through all this work to make them, why not make them as pretty as possible,” Kelli mused as we observed the variety offered, “I wanted them to be as beautiful as they are delicious.” Well, mission accomplished, sweet one.
Although Kelli’s favorite flavors are pistachio and coffee, Savor also offers vanilla, chocolate, caramel, red velvet, honey, raspberry, lemon, lavender, s’mores and champagne. Stop by or visit the Savor Patisserie website for a list baking classes offered in their baking studio above the storefront.