When Sucré was originally opened in 2007, Ayesha Motwani was pregnant with her first child. She and her husband had three more children over the years as they became ever more loyal customers to the sweet shop. Then the family learned the sad news. "We were so disheartened to learn that our favorite family sweet spot had closed and would not be a part of our future memories," Ayesha remembered. Sucré permanently shuttered in 2019 amid scandal and financial losses. "The sexual harassment and exploitation of Sucré employees were shocking and reprehensible to me as well. So was the abrupt disclosure, leaving all those employees jobless without warning."
That was when Ayesha decided that she would resurrect and revive Sucré herself. In December 2020, the doors of the original Sucré at 3025 Magazine Street opened under her ownership. "My role has really been focused on the rebrand and redesign of Sucré. It was important to me to refashion it and give it a rebirth that felt true to its essence but was also a reflection of myself. I work closely with Ashley McMillan, our Executive Pastry Chef, on our menu options so that we are always on the same page and stay attuned to what our customers are craving. Now, I just love being in the store and behind the counter seeing our customers smile in sweet delight with every bite!"
Chef Ashley McMillian worked at the original Sucré for some years. Being a huge fan of Sucré's delicacies, Ayesha felt that her new sweet shop would thrive under Ashley's control. Ayesha said, "Ashley is one of the best pastry chefs in our city. Her reputation exceeds her and I knew Sucré couldn't succeed without her. Her knowledge, creativity, and abilities helps take Sucré to the next level which was an important goal for me. And because of her past experience with Sucré, I knew that she would be indispensable in teaching me what worked and what needed to evolve in the new Sucré."
Despite being in the same location with the same chef, this iteration of Sucré isn't an exact copy of its predecessor; one big change is that most of the staff is female. Ayesha continued to say, "We are really focused on quality right now, making sure that we are not growing too fast and can make sure that our 500th king cake tastes as good as our first. I know people are disappointed that we aren't shipping yet, but it's important to us to ensure we are building a strong foundation with our first store, that our team is confident and excited to be a part of our brand, and that our customers are happy and coming back for more." Sucré will eventually ship locally and nationally. There's also a plan to reopen the beloved French Quarter location which used to house the Salon by Sucré restaurant later this year.
Ayesha also wants to add more variety to the ingredients in the products that Sucré is putting out. "I am a health freak and love exploring alternative flours, milks and sugars. I also want to appeal to all those children who have so many allergies these days and offer them desserts that are as beautiful and delicious as any others in our store. Right now, we have vegan gelatos, a vegan chocolate loaf, and Ashley is taking continuing education courses to gain a better understanding of how to recreate our signature cream-filled entremets in a vegan alternative. Stay tuned!"
Ayesha would like to invite all New Orleans citizens to come back to Sucré to sample old favorites and brand-new specialties. "This a new Sucré with a new team who are focusing on all that was positive about the brand and leaving the rest behind. I'm a minority female who simply wanted to bring back a dessert boutique that holds a sentimental place in so many of our hearts."