Savor Patisserie’s holiday macarons are both tasty and beautiful. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Savor Patisserie’s holiday macarons are both tasty and beautiful. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Mad for macarons

How does an entrepreneur with no formal baking or business education end up as the owner of a small macaron empire? Kelli Watts, of Savor Patisserie, explains: “It’s been the wildest ride of my life, that’s for sure. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”

Watts grew up baking recreationally, but worked in fashion design and lived in New York, where the macaron craze already had hit. She began experimenting with baking them herself, leaning on her French background.

Macarons are not for your average Easy-Bake Oven operator; they are exceptionally difficult to perfect with a shell that toes a delicate line between soft and crunchy.

When she found the perfect combination of texture and flavor, she sold small batches to friends and family, who encouraged her to start a business. In January 2015, Watts quit her job at Neiman Marcus to open Savor Patisserie at The Shops at Park Lane.

“There was no sign at first,” she says. “People had to accidentally bump into the place to find it.”

When her lease on Park Lane was up, she moved to her Casa Linda shop in August 2016 and has been there ever since.

Savor goes against the grain by offering baking classes, where they teach patrons how to make the very cookies that are sold at the shop.

The Casa Linda location clearly has Watts’ designer touch. Black and white décor is accented with colorful succulent centerpieces, and the cornucopia of dazzling macarons draw the eye through the glass display.

Watts has gone from a one-woman operation to employing 42 people. For a perfectionist such as herself, it was difficult passing on her recipe to another baker, but she has learned to delegate.

This season she is presenting holiday flavors like candy cane, eggnog, gingerbread and Mexican hot chocolate.

“All of these people are part of my little family,” she says. “It’s great to be able to affect their lives in a positive way.”

Macaron shops have become all the rage in Dallas lately, but with Savor expanding to its fourth location in Uptown this year, Watts isn’t worried about the competition. “I just keep my head down and work hard every day,” she says. “The more people know about macarons, the better.”

Did you know: Macarons are best when they have rested for 24 hours, giving the filling a chance to soften the shell for the perfect balance between crispy and soft.

Savor Patisserie
Ambiance: Whimsical dessert shop
Price Range: $2.50 per macaron, 5 for $12
Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12-8 p.m. Sunday
9440 Garland Road #142

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.