Cora Louque prepares to sell beloved LaPlace bakery
Published 5:24 am Wednesday, August 5, 2020
LAPLACE — Cora Louque’s beautifully decorated cakes have sweetened life’s greatest occasions for more than 30 years. Since 1986, Fine Cakes by Cora & Dora have become a staple for generations of River Parish weddings, baby showers, birthdays, christenings, communions and graduations.
After decades of tradition, Louque is ready to hand over the reins.
Louque was working at Gambino’s Bakery part-time and taking wedding cake orders out of her house when she met Dora Cruz. The two women shared a goal of opening a bakery, and they made it a reality at 1501 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.
Cruz retired approximately 10 years ago, while Louque continued to operate the business. However, medical difficulties have made it challenging for her to perform the day-to-day tasks of running a bakery.
Louque is looking for a buyer to take over the business, including her tried and true recipes, to keep the beloved desserts available for generations to come.
“My medical purposes are the only reason I’m selling. For three years I’ve been fighting with not being able to walk and bend over like I want to. It’s a lot of hard work, but if you like to do cakes, you’ll enjoy it,” Louque said. “Whoever buys it will get a book of my recipes, and I’m going to show them what I use to come out with the results I get.”
The little details are important, down to the type of flour used to make the cakes. Louque would also like to see the buyer spruce up the bakery and give it new life.
She recounted how the business has grown and changed over the years. With help from their husbands, she and Cruz opened up the store on a loan and had it paid off within two years.
People took note of the rhyming names and automatically assumed the owners were related.
“Everybody asked if Dora was my sister. She’s Spanish, I’m Cajun. As soon as you talked to both of us, you knew it right away,” Louque said.
Every inch of a cake was adorned back in the early days, a show of 1980s glamor in all its glory.
“Business got better, and the styles and cakes have changed,” Louque said. “They were really, really fancy with ruffles and everything. Every inch of the cake was covered in some type of decoration. The fountain wedding cakes were very popular. Nobody does that anymore. Now they have all these new styles that are plain.”
In recent discussion on social media group St. John Talk, locals reminisced on decades of fond memories with Fine Cakes by Cora & Dora. Some recalled ordering their wedding and grooms cakes from the shop more than 30 years ago. One commenter shared that it was where she bought a first birthday cake for her daughter, who is now turning 30.
Another commenter said, “…we can’t lose it! Our kids and little nieces and nephews need to fall in love with this place like we did!”
While styles have changed, the irreplaceable flavor has stood the test of time. The almond flavor cakes have been long-time favorites, though the community also enjoys chocolate, red velvet and carrot cakes. King cakes made with pieces of pralines are sold seasonally.
Each morning, cakes, cookies, petit fours, pralines and turtles fill the display shelves of the store. Individual cake slices have become one of Louque’s best sellers.
Louque said store employee Katie Duhe is an excellent worker who comes in early in the morning to set up cakes and bake the cookies, petit fours and cake squares. She also makes the mouthwatering icing.
“She also helps me decorate the everyday cakes,” Louque said. “I decorate all of the wedding cakes and the difficult cakes.”
For more information about purchasing the bakery, please call 985-652-3903. Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.