Along 17th Avenue, Calgarians can find Ollia, a quaint macaron and tea boutique.
Here, customers can find themselves welcomed into the beautifully decorated shop. Organic teas line the walls and displayed in the front window are tiered stands filled with mouthwatering French macarons.
Behind the scenes in making the delicate and delicious French macaron. Produced by Polly Eason & Emily Thwaites
The Parisian treats date back to the 16th century when King Henry II’s wife brought pastry chefs to France when she moved from Italy. In the late 19th century, Laduree, a French luxury baker, reinvented the treat resulting in what we see today. The French macaron comprises of two round pieces of almond meringue filled with either a buttercream, jam, cream cheese or ganache.
“The macaron was really what I wanted to focus on because you can do anything with them, any colour, any shape, any flavour." —David Rousseau
Ollia has been part of the Calgary community since 2014, when owners David and Lindsay Rousseau opened the shop. The duo wanted to create a unique experience for Calgarians, where they could sip on loose-leaf tea and enjoy a freshly baked French macaron. Now two years along, Ollia has become a well-known sweet stop along Calgary’s Beltline.
David, originally from Northern France, was inspired to create the dainty desserts while in Victoria B.C. There, he worked with experienced chefs and was taught to perfect the macaron while also finding a passion for the art of baking.
“The macaron was really what I wanted to focus on because you can do anything with them, any colour, any shape, any flavour,” said David.
There are currently over 20 consistent flavours of macarons available at Ollia, in addition to seasonal rotational flavours. Popular flavours include salted caramel, passion fruit mint chocolate, raspberry and rocher.
If customers want to discover more on this delicious treat, Ollia offers classes every Tuesday and Wednesday, where the meticulous art of macaron making is taught, along with many taste tests.
- By Polly Eason & Emily Thwaites