French Connection

Colors Macarons finds a new home, continued success.



   As food trends come and go, one trend continues to be a favorite indulgence in Kansas City: the elegant, brightly colored macaron. And newcomers like Colors Macarons are experiencing a sweet success.

   The Colors story began when Sarah Rami and Colleen Kirk, nicknamed “the Colors girls,” met through their husbands while attending local food events in Kansas City. The ladies soon discovered they not only had a mutual love for macarons but also a desire to start a business. Together they apprenticed under a local baker to learn the delicate art of Parisian macarons, and in 2013 Colors Macarons was born.

   The name of the business was inspired by the brightness, happiness and diversity that is found in the world, which influenced the duo as they began researching and experimenting with flavors. The result was a delectable collection of meringue-based cookies. Colors’ macarons come in an array of vibrant colors such as apricot, mint green, French rose, and sapphire blue and sandwiched between the cookies are 10 flavors or fillings that span from traditional raspberry, lemon or pistachio to exotic flavors like salted caramel, hazelnut mocha, vanilla bean, and fig and goat cheese.

   Not to be confused with the macaroon, a cluster cookie made of shredded coconut and condensed milk, the macaron is its fashionable cousin. Both names stem from the Italian root word maccherone, or “fine dough.” The macaron is made of egg whites, sugar and almond powder and it began as a single-layer almond cookie, absent of any fillings. Its true source of its origin is debatable. Some say the macaron was created in 791 in a convent near Cormery, France. Others say the macaron came to France in 1533 and was created by the chefs of Catherine de Medici after her marriage to Henry II of France.

   By 1830 it became a sandwich with fillings such as jam, liqueur and spices. It wasn’t until 1862 when La Maison Ladurée in Paris began selling macarons in bright colors and with fillings of ganache, buttercream and jam that they officially became what we crave today: French macarons.

   Now in its renaissance, the treat has become quite popular in the U.S. throughout the past five years for teas, parties, weddings and special occasions. It’s even been called “the new cupcake.”

   “I absolutely love this product,” Kirk says. “I think they’re delicious and beautiful. They cater to any kind of event, and people are excited about them and enjoy them.”

   Since its inception, Colors has been on the hunt for retail space. Their bite-sized confections had been distributed to restaurants and businesses all over Kansas City, including The Mixx, Chez Elle, Nordstrom, Jasper’s Restaurant, and The Roasterie’s cafés, but it wasn’t until September that they found a permanent retail space at Clock Tower Bakery.

   Located in old Overland Park, Clock Tower Bakery and its talented staff have taken over production with advisement and site management from Kirk, who is a Kansas City native. Rami has since returned to her hometown of Brisbane, Australia.

   “The Colors girls could see into the future that macarons now would be popular,” says Clock Tower Bakery owner Teresa Gebbett. “We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve mastered the art before everybody else gets on the boat.”

   Gebbett has been a professional baker for 28 years. She moved to Kansas City from the U.K. with her family nearly a decade ago and acquired the bakery from its original owners Lee Jones and Eileen Usovicz after they retired in May 2014. Under new management, the bakery offers British and American treats like cinnamon rolls, Millionaire’s shortbread and a new, by- reservation-only English Afternoon Tea (with tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and homemade jam, and sweets), making it the perfect home for the European-oriented macarons.

   In addition to its delicate macarons, Colors has added another French sweet:  cream puffs. Light, fluffy and garnished with a splash of colored glaze, these puff pastries come in delightful flavors such as raspberry white chocolate, blackberry, pistachio and mint chocolate.

   As a part of its flavor of the month, Colors is mixing up something even sweeter for February:  pink Champagne macarons with a red and white swirl pattern, as well as gift boxes of pink Champagne and red velvet cupcakes and raspberry-white chocolate mini cream puffs.

   Clock Tower Bakery is located at 7911 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kan. For more information about Colors Macarons and Clock Tower Bakery, visit clocktowerbakery.com.