We are a family-owned business rooted in three generations of Swiss-trained confiseurs, handcrafting Swiss-style confections and more in Kansas City since 1955.
Our story began when Master Konditor-Confiseur André Bollier dreamed of opening his own chocolate shop. He trained as a master pastry chef in Switzerland and published a recipe book to fund a trip for his wife Elsbeth and their children to the United States. With the book’s success, they immigrated to Kansas City in June of 1955 and André’s Confiserie Suisse opened in October that same year.
In the 1950s, luxury hand-crafted chocolates could only be found in Europe. André and Elsbeth worked to educate the Kansas City community about high-quality Swiss-style confections. By becoming heavily involved in the art community, attending events and donating products to support local artists, they helped to bridge the gap between art and the exquisite chocolates, pastries, tortes and baked goods that they were making. As people traveled to Europe and learned the art of baking and chocolate making, they learned to respect and appreciate these artisan delicacies and embraced André's creations.
In 1956, André’s added a tea room to serve traditional Swiss-style lunches. This helped to bring people in with the hopes that they would purchase chocolates on the way out.
André's son Marcel and his wife Connie followed in André and Elsbeth's footsteps and trained in Switzerland. Upon their return in 1974, they purchased large machinery which enabled them to expand chocolate production and sell to a wider market. The customer base grew and in 1976 André’s was able to construct a larger building next door that now stands at 5018 Main Street.
In 2002, after training in Switzerland and working in the store alongside her family, André's daughter Brigitte Gravino and her husband Kevin opened a second location, André's Rivaz, south of Kansas City in Overland Park, KS. The store is named after the region in Switzerland where a portion of the Bollier family used to reside.
André’s grandson, René Bollier, also grew up in the business. He apprenticed alongside his father and grandfather and after training in Switzerland with his wife Nancy, returned to André’s in 2002 to lead the business into its third generation.
The Bollier family has immersed themselves in the art of Swiss techniques and classic recipes. While honoring tradition, they are known for bringing their personal passion, ingenuity and pride to create distinctive chocolate experiences for the community that has made André's a Kansas City treasure for 65 years and counting.
What makes Swiss chocolate special? Its smooth and creamy texture is the result of extended ‘conching’ which acts to evenly distribute cocoa butter within the chocolate while promoting flavor development through frictional heat, oxidation and the release of volatiles and acids. The prolonged conching in our milk chocolate caramelizes the sugars, giving the chocolate a distinct caramel taste. In the darker chocolate, it helps to highlight the cocoa notes, creating a rich yet balanced flavor profile.
We take each step in the chocolate making process seriously, from the cocoa plantation to your taste buds. The cocoa in our signature dark chocolate and single origin flavors are all non-GMO, fairly-traded, ethically-sourced and sustainably-grown. When you take a bite of the chocolate, you can taste the difference.
High-quality chocolate should melt on the tongue without a change in texture. Our proprietary blend of Swiss chocolate enables you to savour the balanced, subtle and delicate flavor of the chocolate, without any aftertaste. Whether its creamy milk Swiss chocolate or rich, dark Swiss chocolate, we create our products from the finest raw materials with a dedication to quality, innovation and tradition.
Andre’s chocolates are sought out for personal indulgence, shared celebration and unique gifts. The packaging features custom designed scherenschnitte, the detailed art of continuous paper cutting that originated in Switzerland during the 16th century. The care and tradition of scherenschnitte reflect the heritage of the Bollier family who for three generations have brought the same precision and beauty to chocolate making.
André's is recognized in "The Book of Bests" as 'Best Domestic Boxed Chocolate'. The book states, "André's chocolates are not for the timid. The flavors are strong and rich. Exceedingly fresh and tender, they are worthy of any Swiss Confiserie".
We work to continually delight the community with gourmet chocolates, pastries, tortes, baked goods and unique European dining experiences. Visit our retail store and tea room in Overland Park, KS as well as to our confiserie, tea room and café at our flagship store in Kansas City, MO.
The stable foundation that André built with his dedication to provide only the very best products and superior customer service remains carried on by the commitment of the Bollier family, as well as the store's many long-time employees. We hope you enjoy the André's experience as much as we enjoy producing for and serving you.
From our family to you, we hope you enjoy each and every bite!
Three generations of the Bollier Family.
From left to right: Elsbeth Bollier (first generation), Brigitte + Kevin Gravino (second generation, Overland Park Store), Connie + Marcel Bollier (second generation), René + Nancy Bollier (third generation)
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