The story of ‘Lette Macarons’ latest location in Cahaba Heights begins with a young Parisian’s passion for sweets. Paulette Koumetz, the founder of Beverly Hills-based ‘Lette Macarons, first fell in love with the French confection as a little girl. When visiting the patisserie shop near her home, her eyes — and her taste buds — always settled on the brightly colored macarons, a sweet meringue-based pastry.
After moving to the states, Paulette decided to share her love of the macaron by opening ‘Lette Macarons (‘Lette being short for Paulette) in Beverly Hills. The business took off, and soon more stores opened throughout the Golden State. It wasn’t until an Alabama girl got a taste for the sweet treat, however, that the business would move South.
While living with her husband in California, Crystal Lovelady developed a love for the nearby pastry shop, ‘Lette Macarons. Similar to Paulette’s childhood story of the neighborhood Parisian bakery, Crystal formed a penchant for the nearby macaron shop. Even when she had to return home to Alabama to help an ill parent, she only requested one thing be sent back home on her birthday – a macaron from ‘Lette’s. No other sweet would do, she says.
“I told my husband, ‘I don’t want a cake. All I want is some of ‘Lette’s macarons’,” Crystal says with a laugh.
After spending some time traveling back and forth from Alabama to California, Crystal decided it was time to return home for good. She also knew it was time for a career change. After working several years as a civil engineer, Crystal wanted to manage a business. On somewhat of a whim, Crystal called her favorite California bakery — the one that she always sought when she needed an extra reason to smile.
“So we contacted Paulette, and she was excited to meet us, and everything after that is really history,” Crystal says. “It’s so crazy because I never thought I would ever do anything with food.”
Crystal opened ‘Lette Macarons in the Heights Village in July. And since opening, the store has enjoyed a strong response from locals seeking a sweet treat.
Crisp on the outside with a rich, pillowy center, ‘Lette Macarons’ decadent confections embody everything an authentic French macaron should. Customers can blindly bite into the treat and immediately know its name by the rich flavor. Salted caramel, Caribbean chocolate, Colombian coffee and Earl Grey tea are just some of the most popular flavors. Shipped daily from Paulette’s Beverly Hills kitchen, the macarons capture the truest flavors that can only be created by a Parisian herself.
“It’s light and airy, but crisp and soft at the same time, and it’s the perfect texture,” Crystal says of the macarons. “They all taste completely different. The flavors that Paulette has captured are amazing because they taste like they say they’re going to taste, and they’re just packed with flavor.”
Looking back on her journey of opening a macaron shop in Cahaba Heights, Crystal can’t help but smile. It’s safe to say the future of ‘Lette Macarons has a future as bright as the colorful macarons that line the bakery shelves. She hopes to add to the bustling neighborhood’s vibrancy and perhaps become the go-to bakery for other soon-to-be macaron lovers.
When asked which flavor we should try, Crystal answers like a true macaron connoisseur. “There really isn’t a bad macaron,” Crystal says with a smirk.
‘Lette is located at 3112 Heights Village, Vestavia Hills, AL 35243. They are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit lettemacarons.com or call (205) 518-0808.
For more local restaurant scoop, check out our Food & Dining section!