I am going on ten years as a bartender at LongHorn Steakhouse in Tifton, Georgia, and I love my job. My team has truly become my family, and I have experienced many great milestones alongside them, such as graduating from high school, the birth of my daughter, and now, the start of my own business. Five years ago, I attempted to make my very first custom cake for my sister’s baby shower. From there, the requests started to grow, and I began making more cakes for my friends upon request. Before I knew it, Loulabelle’s Cakery was born, from a childhood nickname and a dream.
I have no formal culinary training. I am self-taught through a lot of research and a lot of trial and error. I like to experiment with creating new recipes and mastering new techniques for getting the cakes to look just how I want. It has been a fun process and my creative outlet. I look back at some of my first cakes, and I’m so proud of the progress I’ve made.
My restaurant team has been incredibly accommodating with scheduling as I balance both working at LongHorn and my cake business. I’ve also gained so many skills from working there. When I first started at LongHorn almost ten years ago, I was very shy and not as confident. Now, with so many regular guests and with such a great restaurant team, I feel like I’m with family when I’m in the restaurant. I’ve gained a lot of confidence and leadership skills. I am also learning a lot about running a food business and the need for great customer service, high quality food and consistency. I was taught to always listen to our guests, which is how I treat my clients who order cakes.
I have had great leaders who really helped to develop me and made me feel ready to take on the challenge of owning my own business. My first LongHorn Managing Partner, Todd Cook, was instrumental in teaching me about how businesses work and helping to set me up for success. Todd passed away last year, and I’m forever grateful for his mentorship and generosity. My current Managing Partner, Chris Miller, has also been nothing but encouraging of my endeavors. As part of a celebration he organized for our restaurant team to recognize our guest satisfaction scores, Chris asked if I would make a cake for the occasion. I made a huge T-bone steak cake. I was very excited and honored to be able to showcase my talents to my coworkers, who are always so enthusiastic for me.
I hope to continue to grow Loulabelle’s Cakery, and I’m grateful to have the support of LongHorn along the way.