Every time I wonder about future generations, I seem to come across somebody who fully amazes me with their drive, determination and push to succeed.
This happened once again last week.
On an unseasonably nice day, two of us went on a photo excursion, heading into Pennsylvania. The idea was to find some cool things to photograph, pick up a few geocaches, and just get out and about. I love photo days as you never know what you might find.
Whenever I go traveling on a day with no true “destination,” I always search for French macaron shops. They aren’t the easiest to find (Saratoga is the closest to me, that I knew of), so if I get the chance to grab some, I’m usually quite happy.
French macarons are amazing. If you’ve never had them, you should make sure you do at some point. They are the best “cookie” ever – at least in my eyes. And I like my cookies.
Anyway… I found this little shop in Dunmore, which was close to where we were heading. And heck, there was a cupcake shop/café like a mile or two away – so a possible place for lunch. We needed to check it out.
The shop – Lola Dessert Shoppe – was a small and quaint little spot. A brick storefront, one might almost miss it if you didn’t know it was there. We went inside and it’s very nice. A couple of places to sit, a small glass counter with a few things on the inside and then a few trays of beautiful macarons.
That’s when Kallista came out from the back. She greeted us with a warm smile and helped us. Something about her was intriguing, though. She wasn’t too old, it didn’t seem, but she really had a way around the place.
Turns out she’s the owner of this little spot. And she’s the pastry chef.
That’s when it really hit me that there was a cool opportunity here. It had been more than three years since I last added a photo to my 100 Strangers Project, so this seemed like the perfect chance. I had brought my camera in with me so I could snap a few shots of the macarons.
Over the past few years, I’ve had many chances to add people to this project, but I never think about it. In this spot, I thought it was perfect as I was curious how somebody so young owned this shop.
The story is one that gives me hope for future generations. At just 20 (really? At 20, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I “grew up!”), she’s already graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. She came back to her hometown to open this shop and she said she’s the lone spot in Northeast Pennsylvania that makes macarons.
The flavors that day were awesome – a Samoa (like the girl scout cookie), vanilla (amazing), pecan pie (solid), honey lavender (really good), and blueberry pancake (how do the younger kids say things now? OMG!). Yes, I took a mixed box of these home with me. How couldn’t I?
Anyway, we chatted with Kallista for a little bit and she told us how she baked with her grandmother and how she loves baking and creating amazing pastries way more than cooking. She makes about 500 or so macarons each week (and from looking at the shop’s Instagram account, it would appear she’ll sell out at times, which is a good thing), and comes up with the flavors on her own. She switches things around, too, so that’s always a way to keep things fresh.
On top of the regular macarons, she also offers ice cream sandwiches with the macarons and had some fruit tarts in the counter, too.
As for the macarons – really good. I find whenever I get the chance to buy these, I bring them home and in the fridge. They stay for about a week, which is nice. I’m jealous of people who live closer to this spot and who can go and visit and try the new flavors as they come out.
When I head down that way for a baseball game or something, I’ll definitely look to stop and get some more macarons. What a great little spot.
If you are going to be in the Scranton area and like authentic French macarons, make sure you stop by and visit. Also on the street is a chocolate shop, which was pretty awesome, too.
If you go:
Lola Dessert Shoppe
214 E Drinker Street
Hours: 12-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 12-4 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loladessertshoppe/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loladessertshoppe/
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