Shop Talk | August 17, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Eating Out - August 17, 2012

Shop Talk

MACARONS MARCH IN ... When an unusual store opens in downtown Palo Alto amidst the yogurt shops, nail salons and trendy restaurants, it gets noticed. Chantal Guillon, dedicated to selling macarons, is the avenue's latest newcomer. Located in the former Story Boutique at 444 University Ave., it is part of the 100-year-old building that used to house Borders. These are not the American coconut macaroons sold in tin cans at the corner grocer. Macarons are brilliantly colored and perfectly round. As shop owner Chantal Guillon, a native Parisian, said in her thick French accent, "First you eat with your eyes." Guillon calls the macaron the traditional French cookie. "We make each macaron by hand. It is actually quite difficult to make," she said. The Palo Alto store, which opened Aug. 4, is Guillon's second. She opened the first macaron shop in 2009 in San Francisco. "We make 6,000 macarons a day," Guillon said. Her small shop includes a glass showcase that elegantly features the colorful macaron in deep inserts. The 1,360-square-foot-interior is stark white. "We wanted to keep it simple and clean, make it a blank canvas so that the macarons would be the highlight. It's like a moving piece of artwork," she said. The 60 flavors include Persian rose, lavender poppy and Tahitian vanilla. The decision to open a store in Palo Alto was a simple one for Guillon, who spent 20 years as an interior designer in Paris. "When I saw Palo Alto, I fell in love. ... When I walked in, I had a feeling about this place. I knew this was it. I said, 'I want it!'"

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Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out, or in, down the block or across town? Daryl Savage will check it out. Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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