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Cocoa Dolce to whip up classic French pastry that’s not chocolate

03/12/2013 12:02 AM

03/12/2013 12:03 AM

If Beth Tully’s Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates was in Europe instead of Kansas, she likely would already be selling macarons.

Tully calls the French pastry a “classic European chocolatier product,” and she’s going to add it to her Bradley Fair store beginning Wednesday.

“I’m always trying to figure out what we can do in that space to make it more interesting,” Tully says.

It’s her first foray into a nonchocolate offering.

“They’re really different than most pastries,” Tully says.

She’s hired pastry chef Kelly Peterson , who used to have Velvet Cream Bakery , to help her create the macarons.

“I’m mainly the taster,” Tully says.

Peterson says macarons, which are pronounced with a long “o,” have a silent “s” and are not to be confused with macaroons, are particularly tricky to make.

She says everything is mixed by hand, and a chef must be careful not to mix the meringue too long or hold the pastry bag at the wrong angle or the macarons don’t turn out correctly. The oven temperature and the amount of time the pastries sit before going into the oven must be exact as well.

Tully says she had seen the pastries at specialty food shows for several years and had been intrigued.

“I said, ‘Oh, my god, I’ll have to do these.’ ”

Then she heard how difficult they are to make.

“It’s like, ‘Bring it on, and let’s try it and see.’ ”

She says she likes a challenge.

“I’m a bit of an overachiever sometimes.”

Cocoa Dolce macarons will be filled only with ganache, which Tully says separates hers from other ones.

Initially, because of the short shelf life of macarons, Tully says she won’t sell them online. She and Peterson are still testing storage and freezing.

“We’re still tweaking,” Tully says. “We’re always in a constant state of change.”

Potentially, they’ll offer as many as 30 flavors, but initially they’ll have six.

“I’m fascinated by these,” Tully says. “They’re kind of like our chocolates, which I view as children sometimes.”

So what’s Tully likely to do for her next trick?

“Clone me,” Peterson says.

“I’d like to have world domination,” Tully says.

She says she’ll settle for the United States.

“I’m a realist.”

Louie, Louie, ohhh no

Louie’s Grill & Bar has closed.

A manager at the restaurant, which was at Cambridge Market at 21st and Webb Road, confirms it has closed but won’t say anything more.

Cambridge Market’s Fred Hanley says he knew there was a possibility that the restaurant would be shutting down, but he didn’t realize it was closing until it did.

“I was surprised, too.”

Hal Smith of the Norman, Okla.-based Hal Smith Restaurant Group didn’t return a call to comment.

Also at Cambridge, Hanley says he’s still waiting to learn the fate of the Baskin-Robbins that franchisee David Cortez closed.

There’s a chance that the franchisor, Memphis-based Klinke Bros. Ice Cream , may reopen the business along with the west-side Baskin-Robbins near 21st and Maize Road. Hanley says he’s waiting to hear.

“I’m hoping that it reopens.”

Cut and coffee

There’s a new salon coming to the northwest corner of Central and Maize, but some people may mistake it for a coffee shop. It’s a little of that, too, actually.

Christy Crites is moving her Java Salon from near 135th and Maple to Central and Maize.

The 1,400-square-foot space will have a coffee bar and free WiFi.

“We want to have, like, that coffeehouse feel,” Crites says. “All of the colors and the ideas just kind of spark around that.”

She says it’s something her customers like.

“It was all inspired by them.”

Crites says the new space also is “a little bit more centrally located for our guests.” She says she thinks traffic flow is better in that area, too.

Java is a Redken Fifth Avenue Salon that sells Redken and Pureology products.

Crites says there’s a noncompete where she is now, due to another salon that has nail services, but that will change with her new location.

“We’ll be able to expand our services.”

That will include manicures and pedicures.

Kirk Short , a broker with Re/Max Realty Professionals , handled the deal.

Look for the new Java space to open by May 1.

‘See you later’

Monday was the last chance for fans of the popular My Tho to have its pho – Vietnamese soup – for a while.

Phung Van , whose family owns the restaurant at Central and Emporia, says they’re making a trip to his parents’ native Vietnam. They don’t expect to be back in the restaurant until mid-June.

“We honestly want to thank everybody for support,” Van says. “We’ll miss everybody.”

Like last year, when the restaurant closed for remodeling and another trip, Van says the restaurant will be back open before diners know it.

“This is not goodbye, it’s see you later.”

You don’t say

“I’ve been called a lot of things, but angel is not one that comes readily to mind.”

Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner , who was called an angel on Monday for helping restart restoration of a historic B-29 named Doc

Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.

About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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