Local entrepreneur brings specialty desserts to storefront

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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LAPLACE — Kyandra Murphy Bourgeois was born with a business mindset. She was operating an in-home bakery from the time she was 10 years old, capturing the attention and the tastebuds of neighborhood children who adored her signature chocolate chip cookies.

Bourgeois, now a 27-year-old wife and mother, took a leap of faith this month as she presented 16 of her products to Scott Schwaibold, manager of Matherne’s Market in LaPlace. KyKy’s Kookie Cake Factory made its debut on store shelves on February 9, and the first batch was almost completely sold out by 8 a.m. the following morning.

Bourgeois gained the boost of confidence she needed after bringing 300 samples of her cookies to the inaugural King Cake Festival in Thibodaux on February 4 and watching them all disappear within 45 minutes.

“That was my eye-opener. If I can go into a new area and flourish, I can get into a store. It really motivated me to keep going,” Bourgeois said. “I’ve been getting a lot of support from the community, a lot of congratulations. It’s very overwhelming. Everything I have dreamed of, I have accomplished at this point. I’m ready to set new goals and accomplish those as well.”

Bourgeois envisions KyKy’s Kookie Cake Factory lining shelves of convenient stores and even the big chains like Walmart and Target. She hopes to see the brand expand worldwide in the next five to 10 years, proving an entrepreneur from a small market like St. John Parish can make it big.

The business started out with chocolate chip cookies but has since expanded to include more than 20 variations of small and jumbo-sized cookies and ooey gooey cakes.

Cookies were her specialty while she attended East St. John, and she was often called upon to bake batches and cookie cakes for her friends’ birthdays and special events. After a brief pause, Bourgeois found herself drawn back to baking while in college at Dillard University. Ooey gooey cakes entered the mix while she was baking with her sisters after having her first baby in 2020.

Bourgeois poured through countless recipes and found a way to make the ooey gooey cakes her own, starting with flavors such as chocolate, red velvet and turtle.

After having her second baby in 2022, Bourgeois took her cookies and cakes to the St. John the Baptist Parish Andouille Festival for the first time and received a stellar response from the community.

“Everybody that graduated with me from East St. John knew my chocolate chip cookies. I wanted them to know I do more than just chocolate chip,” she said.

Since then, her products have been featured in several pop-up shops ranging from LaPlace to Baton Rouge. When it was time to introduce KyKy’s Kookie Cake Factory to Matherne’s, Bourgeois took her business a step further with professional packaging, labels and barcodes.

Cookie and ooey gooey cake flavors currently featured at the LaPlace Matherne’s include but are not limited to chocolate chip, king cake, cookie monster and cinnamon roll in small and jumbo sizes. The chocolate chip stuffed ooey gooeys and king cake flavors present a mouth-watering combination of her signature desserts.

Bourgeois said all of her products are inspired by the slogan “We’ll make your tastebuds shout.”

“You have to put a little elbow grease in there. I have created different flavors to where when you taste it, you instantly taste that flavor. You don’t have to question it. If you get a cinnamon roll, that cookie is going to taste exactly like a cinnamon roll. If you want a s’more, you are going to taste the graham cracker, the chocolate chip and the marshmallow,” she said.

While Bourgeois initially planned to refill shelves every Tuesday and Thursday, she now anticipates delivering batches to Matherne’s more frequently to keep up with a high demand.

Bourgeois’ mother, Kynisha Murphy, said the overnight success at Matherne’s comes as little surprise.

“I’ve always seen a business background within her since she was probably 5 years old when it came to organization and handling money,” Murphy said. “This young lady has gone through so much, and she has not stopped. She lost everything in Ida. She’s had to move with relatives, and she’s still consistent with business. She has been goal-oriented since she was a young girl, and I believe that is what has helped her through the years. My husband and I are extremely proud of her.”

Murphy was pleased to see her daughter receive an outpouring of support from the community, including the staff of the St. John Parish Public School System.

“We were having a rough day, and just to see one of the kids who came through the school system here thriving and achieving these milestones is just remarkable. It’s truly inspirational, and everybody is so excited for her,” Murphy said.

Bourgeois wants aspiring businessowners to continue striving for success, no matter how long the road may seem.

“It’s not going to happen overnight. Just pray, be patient, and walk your walk,” she said.

KyKy’s Kookie Cake Factory can be found on Facebook and Instagram @Kykyskitchen and on TikTok @kykykookiecakef. For more information, visit kykys-kookie-cake-factory.square.site/home or call 985-224-9032.