SWEET IN SHREVEPORT
When Lilah’s Bakery first opened in Shreveport nine years ago, owner and pastry chef Sopan Tike had never heard of king cake. Sopan grew up in India, where he learned his trade while working for a five-star hotel group.
“Somebody walked in our bakery and said, ‘Can you bake king cake?’ And my wife said, ‘Yes,’” Sopan says. “That year we made some 150 king cakes, and people loved it. Last year, we made 12,500.”
Today, the mom and pop bakery specializes in king cakes, which are made fresh daily during Carnival season and for holidays like Halloween and Christmas. Lilah’s offers king cakes in three sizes and 22 different flavors, including cinnamon and cream cheese, pralines and cream, and Black Forest. They even offer a sweet and savory maple bacon flavor, a boudin version with bacon and cheese, and a gluten-free variety. Sopan also takes custom requests every now and then.
Sopan and his wife, Lisa, moved their bakery to Centenary Boulevard a few years ago, and now, they open daily during Carnival season. Their king cakes are available at the bakery as well as various retail locations throughout the Shreveport-Bossier area. They also ship their king cakes all over the country, even to New Orleans, where they sent a few hundred king cakes last year.
“I’m proud of myself and what I’m doing,” Sopan says. “People ship from New Orleans to all over the country. We ship to New Orleans.”