Dallas hit the jackpot when Andrea Meyer decided to open a patisserie in the West Village area. This energetic and enterprising macaron-maven has an impressive background that she shares with us today as we discus her interesting path which lead to the creation of Bisous Bisous. Her eye for detail, love of Paris, and professional path make for a great story- and the best macrons on the planet. If you don’t live in Dallas, I apologize in advance for the pavlovian-response that will ensue as your eyes devour her heavenly delicacies.
Q: Tell us a bit about your background, leading to Bisous Bisous:
A: I put myself through college at the University of North Texas while working full-time for Williams-Sonoma. My degree is in English Literature and I’d had the intention of becoming a professor. While attending graduate school, I decided I didn’t want to go into academia after all. Little did I know then that I’d caught the food bug, but it would take years to finally take that path. I left Williams-Sonoma and grad school for a position at Ernst & Young LLP where I worked for years until finally deciding to go to culinary school in 2010.
After a dinner of a lifetime with friends at the French Laundry, I reached out to try to get a position staging at one of the Thomas Keller restaurants and was so thrilled and surprised to have been accepted into their externship program. I did my externship for culinary school at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, CA. and stayed on after my externship was complete. I knew that I had to keep focusing on my education so once I was ready I could build Bisous Bisous. The level of excellence expected with the TKRG was a perfect fit for my personality and the goals I had for myself.
Q: How did Williams-Sonoma influence Bisous Bisous?
A: I learned a lot of basics about a whole range of things while at Williams-Sonoma, not least of all about food. I started working there when I was only 20 years old so I knew practically nothing about cooking at that time. I learned a lot of details mostly to be better at my job and wound up learning so much about food, the types of food people like to cook for themselves as well as infinite lessons in customer service. I credit Williams-Sonoma with instilling in me a strong sense of service to the customer, a respect for food as well as the business and management skills that now come into play in the shop every day.
Q: What was it like to work at Bouchon? It sounds like an incredible experience.
A: The lessons I learned at Bouchon Bakery cannot be overstated. It was such serendipity to wind up at the bakery ~ my initial externship was scheduled for the French Laundry and coincidentally their program was cancelled while I was on my way to California. After a day full of drama, the kind HR team at the TKRG placed me at the bakery instead which is where I wanted to be all along! I knew that restaurants weren’t the life I was looking for and the bakery was absolutely my dream! My experience there was incredibly educational and really helped me to hone in on the types of pastries I wanted to offer, to learn the production process within a bakery and what it means to strive for excellence each and every day. I still expect my kitchen here at Bisous Bisous Patisserie to be so clean it would pass inspection by Thomas Keller.
Q: You were smart to specialize in macarons- tell us how that came about-
A: Having a shop that focused on French pastries – and specifically French macarons – was always my vision. Their rise in popularity is no surprise to me – they’re delicious and just the right size for a special treat! After traveling to Paris so many times and returning home and not being able to satisfy my pastry cravings, I decided it was time for Dallas to have a taste of the food I’d loved so much in my travels. Now I can have a delicious macaron, a perfect croissant or slice of Opera cake whenever I like!
Q: Seriously, yours are the BEST macarons I have ever tasted- what is it that separates yours from the rest?
A: Well thank you! I’ve spent years working on our recipe and my team has worked with me through countless trials now that we’re in our new shop to ensure that we’re making the very best macarons. For me, everything comes back to our name ~ “Bisous Bisous”. It is so much more than just “Kiss Kiss”, or the peck on the cheek when Parisians greet each other. For us, it is the excitement of greeting an old friend and the expectation that you’ll see each other again once you part. To execute that in a pastry shop, the pastries have to be a reflection of that love and I feel that’s what we achieve every day at Bisous Bisous Patisserie.
Q: Which is YOUR favorite macaron?
A: My favorite macaron is usually a tie between whatever seasonal macaron we make and the Tahitian Vanilla. I always come back to the Tahitian Vanilla – my very first macaron in 2003 was vanilla and it’s always been a special one for me.
Q: Do you have a best seller?
A: Our very best-selling macaron has to be the Salted Caramel ~ it has such a good balance of flavor between the sweetness of the macaron, the richness of the caramel and the addition of Fleur de sel.
Q: Any chance of a macaron ATM machine in the future?
A: Wouldn’t that be fun!? No, sadly no plans for anything like that. We have a few fun ideas planned for the future, but nothing to share just yet.
Q: What are your hours like?
A: My personal hours I presume you mean ~ well, I am in the shop most days no later than 6am. leaving anywhere between 4:30 and 8pm. The hours can certainly be long, but I’m doing what I love, what I worked this hard to be able to do this every day. Our team is getting more confident as well so I see some days off in the future!
Q: What advice would you have for an aspiring entrepreneur?
A: The best thing I can tell someone just starting out is to be sure they’ve picked something for which they have a passion and not to underestimate the people who tell you about the sacrifices you’ll make in order to be successful. With that passion, the sacrifices will absolutely be worth it.
Andrea, many thanks for sharing a bit about your career path and your passion with us. May the rest of us be inspired, over macarons and a latte, to pursue our passions so beautifully. Follow Bisous Bisous on Instagram.
One last thing.
Good news, bad news. The bad news is for those of you outside of Dallas- Bisous Bisous does not ship these delicacies, so you’ll just have to come to Big D and experience them in person. The good news… for Dallasites- did you know that Bisous Bisous will make custom cakes, croquembouche, miniature pastries for you and your sophisticated guests? Yum.
Bisous Bisous: 3700 McKinney Ave #150, Dallas, TX 75204
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