KANSAS CITY, MO, US – Three beloved Kansas City institutions, all international leaders in their fields, have teamed up for a series combining custom products inspired by well-known works of art in the collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The Roasterie, André’s Confiserie Suisse, and the museum just released the first offering, the Lily Blend, with coffee and packaging inspired by Monet’s Water Lilies, a serene and much-loved painting that transports visitors to an oasis of calm. A delicate milk chocolate created by André’s and also inspired by Water Lilies is sold separately.
“The Nelson-Atkins strives to bring visitors holistic experiences to foster art appreciation and enjoyment,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “This improbable but magnificent collaboration brings together three institutional leaders anchored locally but with wings across the globe and the shared goal of excellence. Just as our annual Shuttlecork fundraiser has brought heightened awareness to fine wine, we hope this partnership spotlights the amazing creativity in the making of coffee and chocolate in Kansas City.”
The Lily Blend is a smooth, nuanced coffee blend inviting a sense of peace and tranquility, much like the painting that inspired it. When Claude Monet began working on Water Lilies in 1915, he did so in the moments of destruction and chaos that accompanied World War I. Instead of giving in to the oppression around him, Monet chose to paint a lush portion of his garden that signified life, observing the shifting shadows, shapes and colors around him. The Lily Blend summons sensory memories to provide a refuge of calm meditation. Paired with the creamy, raspberry-infused milk chocolate batons crafted by André’s, it becomes an artfully inspired respite from a hectic day.
“The Roasterie is delighted to be part of this series with the Nelson-Atkins and André’s Chocolates,” said Dawn Bishop, Chief Marketing Officer, The Roasterie. “All three organizations are Kansas City institutions dedicated to bringing meaningful educational and cultural experiences to our community. This partnership will bring a unique experience curated to enliven all five senses. Partnering with these like-minded Kansas City treasures allows us to showcase our coffee in a way that helps educate people about our coffee and the farmers who work so diligently to bring it to our tables. Even non-coffee enthusiasts can learn more about art or chocolate through this transcendent experience.”
“Since the inception of André’s, the arts have always been extremely important to the whole Bollier family,” said René Bollier, President + Owner of André’s Confiserie Suisse. “We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with this amazing Kansas City institution and to introduce a chocolate confection that not only speaks to the style of Monet but also pairs beautifully with Roasterie’s corresponding coffee blend.”
Both André’s and The Roasterie have fascinating beginnings. In 1978, Danny O’Neill picked his first coffee cherries as a foreign exchange student in Costa Rica. He immediately fell in love with coffee, and later founded The Roasterie in the basement of his Brookside home. Partnering directly with farmers and paying above-market value, O’Neill was able to secure the best coffees and develop longstanding supply relationships that are still in place today. The museum has long collaborated with The Roasterie, which created the Nelson-Atkins Blend to serve exclusively at Rozzelle Court Restaurant.
In 1955, André Bollier and his wife, Elsbeth, immigrated to the United States from Switzerland to fulfill the master pastry chef’s dream of opening his own chocolate shop. The couple worked hard to educate the Kansas City community about high-quality Swiss confections and became heavily involved in the art community to bridge the gap between art and their exquisite chocolates. Their son and daughter, Marcel and Brigitte, and their spouses also trained in Switzerland, and a second location was opened in Overland Park. Grandson René Bollier and his wife, Nancy, now lead the third generation of the business, creating unforgettable chocolate experiences for the community. André’s and The Roasterie have a enjoyed a more than two-decade long partnership, and the addition of the Nelson-Atkins creates a powerful triumvirate.
The Lily Blend is an inspired comingling of art, coffee, and chocolate. And because the Nelson-Atkins collection spans 5,000 years, the possibilities for future pairings is truly endless. Stay tuned.
About The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The museum, which strives to be the place where the power of art engages the spirit of community, opens its doors free of charge to people of all backgrounds. The museum is an institution that both challenges and comforts, that both inspires and soothes, and it is a destination for inspiration, reflection and connecting with others.
The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access to its renowned collection of more than 42,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and Native American and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. In 2017, the Nelson-Atkins celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Bloch Building, a critically acclaimed addition to the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.
The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday through Monday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free to everyone. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org.