St. Charles Parish boasts over 50 restaurants specializing in homestyle, Asian, and Creole/Cajun cuisine, but for people craving healthier options, finding a restaurant can be challenging. While locals might get sick of eating the same thing every day, visitors might declare the parish a "healthy food desert" and turn back to Metairie or wherever they came from. But this one hidden gem, made possible by a young woman, offers something completely different.
Located in the French Quarter-style Plantation View Medical Offices complex in Destrehan, Honeydoux Café & Bakery is chef and owner Katie White's "golden whisk" for her lifelong dedication to culinary arts. The café, which is run by nine people, whips up fresh, handcrafted recipes to workers, students, and families in a homey atmosphere. Whether it's Turkey Swiss Clubs, Turkey Pepper Jack Sandwiches, Almond Cupcakes, or Chocolate Chip Cookies, customers will enjoy wholesome meals that'll make them feel like they're back in their parents' kitchen. Coffee addicts will also enjoy slurptastic options such as frappuccinos, lattes, and cappuccinos.
There's always something for everyone, but there's also something new every day. Each week, Honeydoux serves special items, which consist of mouthwatering delights such as hot Roasted Vegetable Soup, scrumptious Shrimp Salad, or ooey gooey Pizza Melts. They also serve seasonal items; Visit their Facebook and Instagram to see weekly specials.
Honeydoux is also a good place to do homework, meet familiar faces, and become familiar with the St. Charles community; plus, it's convenient if you're taking a trip to the East Regional Library or the Destrehan Plantation during the day.
Honeydoux has always been a dream of White's growing up. Coming from a foodie family, she enjoyed watching and helping her grandparents cook and bake in the kitchen, whether it involved making homemade gumbo for dinner, preparing baked ham for Christmas Eve, or baking cupcakes for fun.
"Our lives always revolved around the table," White said about her family.
While most kids watched cartoons or played video games in their spare time, White immersed herself in various cooking shows on the Food Network for inspiration. One of these shows was a competition in which the winner took home a golden whisk trophy, which piqued not only White's interest but also gave her a push.
"I aspired to win a golden whisk of my own," White said on Honeydoux's webpage.
Determined to make her dream come true, she enrolled at the Satellite Center in high school where she took the Culinary Arts and Hotel, Restaurant, & Tourism Administration courses. There, she learned about restaurant/kitchen organization, culinary techniques, mathematics, and business management, all of which are essential in the food industry.
"[These courses] helped me, like, decide that that's definitely what I wanted to do," White said.
She then studied culinary arts with a patisserie and professional concentration at Nicholls State Univerity's Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, where she learned not only how to bake sweet treats such as cake, chocolate, and cookie dough but also how to operate a business. Interning at Sucré and Disney's Pop Century Resort also helped her gain working experience as well as perspective.
Plus, White participated in multiple catering events at Nicholls, one of them being the former "Bite of the Arts Gala" that took place annually.
"They would pick a country and they would serve a dinner," White said. "People would buy tickets and they would serve a dinner and decorate through, like, a live auction and stuff like that," White explained.
After years of hard work, White decided it was time to leap forward and start her own restaurant in Destrehan. After months of planning, building, and setting up shop, she finally opened Honeydoux's doors on January 9, 2018, and, so far, it's gained recognition and positive feedback from the community.
But business wasn't always easy for White and her team. Since 2020, Honeydoux faced two hardships--COVID-related restrictions and hurricane-induced damage--and, like most businesses, it was forced to limit store hours and/or shut down indefinitely. While White didn't know how those incidents would affect her business, she and her team passed the time by catering orders to essential workers, which miraculously helped them defy the odds.
"That helped us not only stay afloat as a business but put our name out in the parish and help people out that were helping us," White said.
While White doesn't know what the future has in store for her, whether it means expanding her business or opening another location, she plans on continuing to do what she loves in the comfort of her own café, which was all made possible by dedication to her craft and the support of her loved ones.
"My parents have always said to follow your dreams and take a chance on your dreams to make them come true," Hymel said. "Everybody stepped in to help me achieve my goals."
Honeydoux is currently open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and to see the full menu, visit honeydouxcafe.com or call 985-307-0050.