When Zachary High Junior Luke Parks was in 4th grade, an entrepreneur came to speak to his class. The students were challenged to come up with a business model and present it to the class. Luke thought for a while, and decided he would propose opening a bakery. There was one problem: He was 9 and his parents both worked full time jobs.
Still, Luke was persistent, and his parents supported his enthusiasm. They came up with a compromise. They would do some beta testing with friends and family and see how their tea cake style cookies were received. Everyone agreed: They were delicious. The family then decided to scale up their enterprise and started selling boxes of their cookies every other week at church. They could barely keep up with demand.
Then Covid hit, and in-person sales weren’t possible. Luke wasn’t discouraged by the setback. Instead, he started thinking about how he could get his cookies into his customer’s hands. A family friend mentioned a potential partnership with LSU Ag Center. The Royal Treats team made their pitch, and knew things were going well as the interview committee members kept going back for more and more cookies. They were approved for partnership and things accelerated quickly.
LSU Ag Center allows partners to use its commercial bakery and helps with things like calorie and label requirements and safe packaging. Royal Treats also made the decision to sell their cookies in frozen cookie dough form so that they could ensure a consistent, fresh product for consumers.
They are now partnered with seven local grocers around the Baton Rouge area, including Calvin’s Bocage Market and several Ralph’s and Butcher Boy locations. They hope to expand into the Zachary grocery scene soon, so keep your eyes on the freezer section at Rouses!
For Luke’s full list of offerings, his story and where to find the goods locally, click on over to his website.
Photo by Sydney Johnson/Mariegold Designs