Destined for Cupcake Greatness
The rich smell of freshly baked treats and the soft hum of the latest hits are the first things the customers notice as they step into Bliss Patisserie, the modern bakery that is Haley Thompson’s dream come to life. The perfectly iced cupcakes of every color imaginable lined up in the windows look heavenly, and they taste even better. Flavors like wedding cake, milk and cereal, and banana pudding are enough to make any cupcake lover swoon, and the black and white design of the store is sharp and clean, yet welcoming.
Haley, 19, has always loved to bake. As a child, she could usually be found carefully icing something she had just whipped up in the kitchen for her family. “It didn’t register that this would be my career until I was 15. Then, I realized I really loved baking,” says Haley. “I started perfecting my craft by watching videos and researching online so I could do more and offer more to people.”
As a student at East Ascension High School, Haley had fantastic grades, was offered numerous scholarships, and was accepted into the college of her choice. However, she realized formal training was not necessarily the path she was meant to take and approached her family about her dreams, which she says was a huge decision.
“I had been praying about it and finally asked my parents how they would feel if I went ahead and opened my shop,” says Haley. Her parents agreed that if she kept up with her 4.0 GPA and maintained good behavior, they would help her fund and open her bake shop.
Of course her friends were shocked at first but later realized they could have seen it coming. “Some of them thought I was crazy, but they were mostly supportive,” says Haley.
Bliss Patisserie opened in Prairieville in September 2015 with the full support of the community. Haley remembers the panic she felt as the day that she had been waiting for finally arrived. “My whole family was trying to calm me down. That day I had baked about 400 cupcakes, and I thought that would be more than enough,” says Haley. “We opened at 11 a.m. and had a line. We sold out of those first 400 cupcakes in two hours, and I had to bake 300 more, which we also sold.” Haley says the Prairieville community was definitely what made this happen.
Quickly after opening the first location, Haley began working on a second shop in the Mall of Louisiana. She knows both shops were possible because of her extremely supportive family, friends, and team of bakers and decorations members. Haley said her father helped her build and paint; her mother, who owns her own business, helped her with the logistics of opening a business; and her sister helped her advertise on social media.
Haley’s shops sell everything from cupcakes and cookies to wedding cakes and king cakes! Her customers love to get fancy with flavors, according to Haley. She has even had orders for bacon maple and peanut butter and jelly king cakes.
“I get to wake up every single morning and decide what I want to bake and what flavors I want to do. If I want to try something just because I saw it somewhere, I can do that,” says Haley. She loves the creativity that comes with the job and the fact that anything in her head can become a reality with her work. Haley gets a lot of her inspiration from social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram but also looks to the world around her for ideas.
However, Haley says the hardest part of the job is balancing work with a social life. “You can get so caught up in the work, work, work part of it because you’re trying to grow your business. Sometimes, you can leave your social life behind, and it’s a hard thing to figure out,” says Haley.
In the future, Haley hopes to expand her business. “I want to have more shops in Louisiana and then eventually branch out into other states. I want to have cupcake trucks and stuff like that,” says Haley. But her ultimate dream? Haley wants to flip houses one day, an activity she has always found extremely interesting. But until then, Baton Rouge can continue enjoying Haley’s delicious desserts. ■