For almost 70 years, the Bollier family has delighted patrons with chocolates and pastries at André’s Confiserie Suisse in Kansas City. In addition to the sweets, diners can enjoy a three-course lunch paired with a fine wine or craft cocktail.

René Bollier and his wife, Nancy, uphold three generations of family tradition and commit to excellence that began when René’s grandparents, André and Elsbeth, started the business 68 years ago.

When I was a young man training in pastry and baking in Düsseldorf, Germany, I took a train trip to the city of Zürich, Switzerland. It was there that I tried to get a job in the Swiss confiserie Cafe Sprüngli, the sister company of the world-famous Lindt chocolate company. Unfortunately, the job was not to be, but on that trip, I discovered the extraordinary styles of pastry, chocolate, and dining found in that magical part of Europe. Today, it can also be experienced at André’s Confiserie Suisse in Kansas City. 

Nestled on the southern flank of the Country Club Plaza, the revered pastry shop and restaurant is celebrating 68 years in business. André’s is known for its classic Swiss-style chocolates and pastries, but it is also open for breakfast and lunch, so you can enjoy a light meal prior to indulging in all those sweet delights. 

The beautiful chocolates from André’s Confiserie Suisse are a special gift to give to someone else or to keep for yourself.

You’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to the Alps when you step into the Swiss chalet-style tea room decorated with flags from the Swiss cantons (states) draped on the walls. The restaurant and pastry shop are currently operated by the third generation of the Bollier family: Pastry Chef René and his wife, Nancy, uphold the Bollier family tradition using traditional Swiss recipes. Since René’s grandfather, Master Konditor—Confiseur Andre Bollier, first launched the chocolate shop, the business has been at the heart of the chocolate and pastry scene in KC. 

Open for breakfast and lunch, the tearoom was first started by André Bollier’s wife, Elsbeth, in the hope that diners would come in for a meal, then take some fresh-baked pastries or chocolates home afterward. Today, that concept is still popular with light, European-inspired lunch specials such as Swiss-style Quiche Lorraine and Chicken Vol au Vent—diced chicken and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce served in a butter pastry shell.

Swiss-style quiche accompanied by a petite salad is a popular option on André’s light lunch menu.

Their menu also changes with weekly lunch specials that feature Swiss-Germanic regional centric foods that were once popular in the US dining scene but are hard to find these days. Some recent offerings included Poulet Schnitzel, Paprika Pork (known as Schweine Paprikasch in German), and Beef Bourguignon, a French-style braised beef stew in red wine. These are all comforting foods found in the Swiss homeland where four national languages make up the country’s spoken dialects. That is why the food in Switzerland has origins in many of the bordering countries and can also be found at André’s as well. 

Diners are particularly fond of the three-course lunch that includes a petite salad, a tasty entrée, and one of André’s tempting desserts (a drink is included). According to Nancy, some of the customers’ favorite desserts are the Matterhorn, Napoleon, and lemon tartlets. 

Exquisitely crafted desserts and coffee are treats that have earned the Kansas City business a loyal following among locals and made it a destination for visitors.

One of their current dessert offerings is the Swiss-style Dobosh torte. This famous Hungarian torte is built with multiple thin layers of crisp vanilla cake spread with rich chocolate butter cream and enrobed in a hard chocolate shell, and it’s a delicacy not easily found elsewhere in the United States. Other interesting specialties are the Bunny Roof cookie (crisp hazelnut meringue, toasted almonds coated in milk or dark chocolate), and the chocolate-covered, pretzel-shaped butter cookie. 

Originally, only coffee and teas were served at André’s, however in 2014, select wines and beers were added to the drink menu. Some special drinks of note are the Swiss Sazerac, Kir Royal (one of my personal favorites, made with Champagne and cassis), and the seasonal favorite Chocotini made with Irish Cream liquor, coffee, and house-made mocha syrup. Along with cocktails, André’s also serves local sodas, such as ginger beer, and hot chocolates.

Even if you can never travel to Switzerland, a trip to André’s will allow you to discover the chocolate and pastry that the country is famous for. If you make the trip, please wish René and Nancy “guten Tag” for me.

To check out André’s latest offerings and specials, visit AndresChocolates.com/pages/kansas-city-location.

All photos courtesy of André’s Confiserie Suisse.