Lilah’s Bakery And Bunnery
Local king cake gurus expand business to the breakfast crowd
With the new year comes a new season for Mardi Gras in the Ark- La-Tex. Lilah’s Bakery is cooking up lots of treats for revelers, namely king cake, but this year, they’re adding a new member to the culinary family: Lilah’s Broadmoor Bunnery and cinnamon buns.
Lisa Tike and her husband, Sopan, are co-owners of Lilah’s Bakery, which originally was on Olive Street before outgrowing that location and moving to Centenary Boulevard about six years ago.
King cakes have been around almost as long as the Mardi Gras tradition itself. The king cake is believed to have been brought to the New Orleans area from France in 1870. The cakes honor the three kings of the Epiphany, thus the name. Estimates of as many as several hundred thousand of the confections are consumed each year between Jan. 5 and Fat Tuesday, the Lenten season‘s official start.
Lots of folks know where the Highland store is, especially at Mardi Gras time. Last year, they sold 22,000 of the tricolored confections. This year they sold out their supply in only four hours. They’ve been mixing and baking, topping and packing ever since to keep up with demand.
This year, they’re introducing a new product and second location on Youree Drive in the Broadmoor Shopping Center, Lila’s Broadmoor Bunnery.
“We are nuts,” Lisa Tike said. “We are busy. We have the bakery running at full force. Business has been great at the Bunnery, too. We’re definitely staying busy.”
The cinnamon bun store opened on Dec. 19 and will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Mardi Gras season.
The menu is only cinnamon buns right now, but customization is king for these buns. According to Tike, there are a dozen different frostings for your customized buns and probably two dozen toppings to crown your masterpiece. Regular buns are available every day of the week, and gluten-free ones are available on Sunday. You can also call to order gluten-free buns, but the Tikes ask that you call 24 hours in advance to give them time to prepare the order properly. “We sell a couple of glutenfree cakes every day. We ship them, too, all over the country.”
You can order online or by phone, and the website has your options, which you can either pick up at the store or use the drive-thru window at the Broadmoor location.
The idea for the gourmet buns has been cooking for a while, according to Lisa Tike. “We used to have a cupcake bar at our Boardwalk location, and my husband has been tossing around doing gourmet donuts for a while. I told him if we do gourmet donuts, then that’s a whole different set-up. We’re really not in the donut business. If we did gourmet cinnamon buns, it would use all the same equipment and ingredients we use for our king cakes. That’s how we decided to do this.”
Lilah’s has also done fundraisers for local schools in the past and even hosted parties. With the COVID restrictions in play, they converted the party kitchen into a gluten-free kitchen to accommodate that segment of their clientele.
Chris Jay, a well-known local connoisseur of all things gastronomic, calls the Tikes his friends as well as his social media clients. He posted on the company’s Facebook page, “I have so much respect for them. They’ve had to fight to go from selling 70 king cakes in 2006 to 22,000 king cakes in 2019.”
Jay also said that having the option to pick up your king cake at the drive-thru window was a good thing for social distancing as we continue to struggle with the pandemic.
The website for the bakery is https://www.facebook.com/lilahsbakery/, and they do offer nationwide shipping.