From the time Rebekah Hoffpauir was a small child baking store bought cookie dough and watching cooking shows on television, it has been her life-long dream to own a bakery. When she was older, she devoured culinary text books and interned at the Pioneer Club during college to gain real-world experience. She attended a specialized bread course, but she loves to experiment in the kitchen. "I like to try bits and pieces of different recipes until I find the one that I like the most,” she says.
After graduating from McNeese State University in 2015, Rebekah was determined to make her dream come true. "My biggest challenge was convincing others that I could do this.I was told many times how difficult starting a business would be and how much work a bakery entails. And they were all correct!But so far, it has been well worth it!” Her current location at 206 W. 11th St. Lake Charles, was not Rebekah’s first choice, but her parents owned the building that once served as a rice warehouse. With the current price of real estate in Lake Charles, she embraced the space and made it her own.
Prior to opening the Bekery, Rebekah made a list of bakery items she wanted to serve, and she also remained open to her customers’ suggestions. She quickly realized scones, quiche, and cinnamon rolls would be mainstays. She also bakes brownies, several varieties of cookies (including maple bacon), coffee cakes, and breads. Several flavors of ice cream are available, as well. "Right now I'm working on finding a balance between making sure I'm serving what the customers want and my love of trying new things.I don't want my menu to get stale or boring so I like to mix things up.”
Rebekah describes her shop as an artisan bakery. "Everything is made from scratch using old-fashioned recipes. We start bakingaround4:00 a.m.and keep baking for most of the day -- then the process of preparing ingredients for the next day begins. We try to make as many different items in big enough quantities for everyone who comes in. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the fresh-baked process, we do occasionally run short on certain items toward the end of the day.”
A step into the Bekery is an adventure involving all senses. You smell the tantalizing aromas of cinnamon, coffee, and rising yeast breads. The shop is bright and airy, all white with black and teal accents. The glass case displays such a tempting array of pastries and other baked goods, you’ll likely have to choose more than one. Coffee and tea are served in pre-warmed mugs, unless you prefer a to-go cup. Music from a New Orleans Jazz Pandora station plays softly in the background. Her inviting outdoor patio provides a laid back "wine country” feel. It’s the perfect place for girlfriends to chat over cranberry oat muffins and coffee, parents to bring their children for cookies and hot chocolate, couples to linger over tea and lemon scones, or tourists to get a sense of what southwest Louisiana has to offer. "I don't want to simply sell baked goods.I want visitors of the Bekery to have the full sight, smell, sound, and taste experience. And I believe that has been the key to the overwhelming support we've received from the community.”
Find The Bekery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebekeryllc.