About four years ago, Kelly Evans was jetting off every other week for her job as a corporate flight attendant on private flights. Her work took her to some of the quaintest towns around Europe, including parts of France, Italy, and Switzerland. But one night, she was enjoying a rare evening at home with her friend Angela, baking one of her favorite takeaways from her travels: the light and delectable French macaron. As her friend sat on the floor of the tiny kitchen, eating macarons and listening to Evans lament how her love of flying kept her away from her family, life-changing inspiration struck. With her third macaron in hand, Angela looked at Evans and said, “This is what you need to be doing. You need to be making these.”
Her love for the macaron began on a flight out of Zurich, when the captain brought some of the dainty, melt-in-your-mouth cookies onboard. “I had never seen them before,” she says. “And I ate the entire box before we even took off.” Having since tasted French macarons from Angelina and the famous Laduree pastry
shops of Paris, as well as from many small patisseries in Vienna and Salzburg, Evans was inspired to take on the challenge of these small, delicate sweets and bring them to her home state. After spending two years reading, combining, and altering recipes for what is considered one of the most challenging baking feats, she opened Le Dolce Vita pastry shop in 2011, selling (among other treats) macarons in flavors ranging from framboise to lavende out of a small bakery off the strip in Zionsville. She quickly outgrew the space and relocated to a spot on Main Street in July. And then in September, Evans opened a sister store in Westfield—a full-blown coffee- and baked-goods shop called Union Baking Company, where a fresh supply of goodies from Le Dolce Vita arrives every morning and afternoon. Finally, life is sweet for all of us.
Kelly Evans’s Favorite Things
(1) Mackinac Island: “Since I was a kid, this place has been my special spot.”
(2) Hollyhock Hill: “It’s a family tradition. Every year for my birthday for as long as I can remember, we have celebrated there.”
(3) Thunderstorms in the morning or late at night.
(4) Mint chocolate-chip ice cream: “Hands down, my favorite food group.”
Photo by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the November 2013 issue.