Rolling in the (Cookie) Dough

Lakeview’s sweetest new addition, Cookie Dough Bliss brings a new dessert concept to Louisiana.

Cookie Dough Bliss

Local franchise entrepreneurs Gina LaRose and her husband Chad have moved the joy of eating cookie dough out of the dim light of the late-night kitchen into a bright and airy new cookie dough and dessert café on Harrison Avenue.

Cookie Dough Bliss opened on March 9 of this year to a sugar-crazed crowd of 1,200 customers. Since that date, the business continues to cook.

The dessert restaurant offers a variety of cookie dough flavors served by the scoop like ice cream, such as chocolate chip, sugar cookie, red velvet and oatmeal raisin. The cookie dough has been specially prepared for food safety, according to LaRose, with vegan and gluten-free options available for those with special dietary concerns.

“All of our cookie dough is 100 percent safe to eat unbaked,” she says. “We use heat-treated flour and a pasteurized egg product. We do have a vegan option; our vegan cake batter cookie dough is dairy free. We also offer a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough.”

In addition to cookie dough, the café is a dream for those with a sweet tooth, offering ice cream and various sweet treats, such as shakes, sundaes and cookie dough sandwiches. Prices start at $4.75 for one scoop to $8.25 for three.  While all the flavors have a following, LaRose notes a stand-out among her customers.

“The most popular flavor is the traditional chocolate chip cookie dough and the confetti cake batter dough,” she said.” My favorite thing on our menu is our Bliss brownie; it is a triple-chocolate baked brownie with chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle and topped with chocolate ganache. Coming in a close second for me is our seasonal strawberry cheesecake cookie dough that we are offering right now.”

Cookie Dough Bliss looks like a typical ice cream shop, but has a sweet twist. Customers can select scoops of their favorite cookie dough flavors — such as chocolate chip, brownie batter and oatmeal raisin — along with a wide array of toppings.

Cookie Dough Bliss is headquartered in North Carolina, with franchises in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as well as Minnesota, Texas and Florida. LaRose’s location at 241 West Harrison Avenue in Lakeview is Louisiana’s first and only franchise location for the company, and one of the premiere locations in the United States.

“I wanted to open a business that was new and different, something that we didn’t have in New Orleans yet,” LaRose said. “I loved the concept of a cookie dough shop and after some research found that Cookie Dough Bliss was the first to franchise. Being only the seventh franchise in the U.S. market and the first in Louisiana was very appealing.”

Although LaRose and her husband are first-time business owners, they felt strongly about taking on the business in a burgeoning part of New Orleans.

“I have my bachelor’s degree from LSU in elementary education and taught for eight years,” LaRose said. “Most recently, I have been a stay-at-home mom to my three daughters (ages 8, 5, 3). My husband, Chad, has a career in medical sales. Although neither of us has a background in business, we have had a shared goal of wanting to be entrepreneurs and own our own business. This new dessert shop was the perfect fit for me, from the products to the aesthetics of the inside of the store.”

The shop’s location on a newly developing area of Harrison Avenue has been received well by both customers and surrounding businesses alike, according to LaRose, and has drawn visitors from across the city to the area.

“The other businesses in our area are very welcoming,” she said. “These specific two blocks of West Harrison are a mix of longstanding businesses, but with several other new ones opening soon. Lakeview is an amazing neighborhood, and we are getting lots of support from the neighbors and people that live here. I’m also proud to say that a lot of our customers have been from other areas of the city; from Uptown to Destrehan. We are happy to bring people to our neighborhood.”

In addition to the café, Cookie Dough Bliss offers event and party catering, along with an in-store party room for birthdays or other events.

“We have a party room in our store that is super fun for kids of all ages,” LaRose said. “Each participant at the party gets a scoop of dough in a mixing bowl and adds unlimited toppings, such as M&Ms, chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles and whipped cream.”

The catering menu offers 2.5-ounce cookie dough mini cups, party packs with dough, cups and spoons, and a staffed Cookie Dough Bliss cart rental for parties, corporate events, weddings and more.

While the business has had a strong start this spring and into summer, LaRose notes that educating her customers on the notion of edible cookie dough has been a challenge.

“We encourage them to taste as many samples of cookie dough as they want,” she said. “I’m sure any first-time business owner will agree that there are lots of unexpected things that pop up when the business is so new. For me, I understand that Cookie Dough Bliss is the first to offer edible cookie dough and that means educating our customers on what we offer. The momentum from that has continued, with new customers coming in the store every day, as well as returning customers.”

Cookie Dough Bliss’ café is located in a newly busy and developing section of Harrison Avenue in Lakeview. It offers room for afternoon treats and a party space dedicated for birthdays and celebrations.


Sweet Selections

Corporate Dough

Cookie Dough Bliss offers fun options for corporate events, client gifts and fundraising. Options include:

Cookie Dough Tasers

• 2 oz. cookie dough scoops – choose up to 6 flavors of dough

• $2 each/minimum 12 count or $1.75 each for 48 or more

Bliss Party Pack

• 4-pint jars of cookie dough with cups and spoons

• Serves up to 15 people

• Choose up to 4 flavors of dough and 3 toppings

• $49.50 each or $46 for 2 or more party packs

Ultimate Bliss Party Pack

• 4 pint jars of cookie dough with cups and spoons

• Serves up to 15 people

• Choose up to 4 flavors of dough and 3 toppings

• 12 Bliss Dough Pops

• 8 baked cookies

• $89.50 each or $86 for 2 or more party packs