Drive south on Main Street near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. You’ll venture straight up a steep hill and pass by the Kansas City Public Library as well as a few chain restaurants and local eateries. But keep driving a ways past some historic houses and you’ll find André’s Confiserie Suisse, a local Kansas City spot that serves up the city’s most decadent Swiss confections.
André’s has been around since many Kansas Citians can remember. Marcel Bollier’s father and mother, André and Elsbeth, migrated from Basel, Switzerland to Kansas City in June of 1955 to open KC’s first European confiserie. They opened the first store right next door to where André’s currently sits (today, the location is the home of Perfect Scents). André’s was so successful that the company opened up a second location in Leawood. The original André’s opened up as a confiserie only—no baked goods and no lunches. In order to serve the Kansas City market, however, Marcel Bollier took over André’s and opened a tea room to serve lunch as well as a bakery.
It’s no secret—coffee and chocolate have been the perfect duo since their beginnings. Which is why we would love to spotlight André’s as one of our most beloved 20 year customers. After all, the local spot has been brewing up, serving and collaborating with Roasterie products for over two decades.
“When Danny [O’Neill] first approached me, I said no to his coffee. We were serving Caines coffee at the time,” explains Marcel Bollier as he chuckles. “But Danny never gave up. He finally convinced me to do a tasting. We started on a Monday at 9:00am and tested for 3 or 4 hours. By the time we were done, we had such a high!”
After the tasting, there was no turning back for Marcel and his confiserie. The Roasterie product that they ended up with was just too good to pass up.
Currently, André’s serves a variety of Roasterie products including the Kansas City Blend, Roasterie tea and Roasterie chocolate bars (made with the Sumatra blend). But perhaps Marcel’s favorite (as well as his son and business partner’s, René) is the Gotham Espresso, used in the confiserie’s tiramisu, espresso caramel bars and specialty desserts.
René can’t seem to go a day without drinking our Gotham Espresso and oftentimes brews it at home. The Gotham Espresso holds a special place in Marcel’s heart as well. According to Marcel, 25 years ago, no one in Kansas City had an espresso machine, but he knew that they were extremely popular in Europe. Marcel bought a machine early on (mainly for his own enjoyment, but also for André’s) and began brewing up delicious espressos with our Gotham product.
So was it the delicious espresso that made Marcel and René stick with The Roasterie for 20+ years? That certainly has been a factor, but it’s not the whole story.
“We only work with products of the highest quality,” explains Marcel. “The Roasterie provides us with that quality. The most important thing for us is the taste and texture of our ingredients. The Roasterie is consistently good. Their beans are not over roasted or bitter. We always receive compliments about our coffee products.”
René elaborates: “We enjoy the relationship Danny creates with his clients. It’s more of a friendship than it is a partnership. Danny’s relationship with us is so good that we would never contemplate switching companies.”
We would like to thank Marcel and René Bollier of André’s Confiserie Suisse for selecting and sticking with The Roasterie as their specialty coffee company for the past 20 years. It’s because of our first customers that we are experiencing the successes that we are today. A huge thanks to Andrés—from its founders to its employees—for believing in The Roasterie and bringing delicious coffee to chocolate and pastry lovers throughout the city!
Want to fall in love with our Gotham Espresso like Marcel and René did? Get a bag of your own today!