First Look: Caroline’s Cookies opens in Perkins Rowe with thick, gooey holiday treats

Perkins Rowe just got a whole lot sweeter, thanks to Lafayette-born bakery Caroline’s Cookies. The cookie shop opens its second location in Baton Rouge Friday, Dec. 22, at 10001 Perkins Rowe. Find it on a corner behind Barnes & Noble, nestled next to California Pizza Kitchen.

Inside the pastel purple-and-white shop, guests can order from a rotating selection of thick, gooey cookies. During today’s grand opening, 4,000 cookies from a holiday menu will be in the case with flavors like Stuffed Chocolate Chip, Christmas Tree Cake, Hot Cocoa, Eggnog and more. 

Owner Caroline Merryman started her sweet business in her parents’ kitchen back in 2020, when she began whipping up cookies the way she liked them. The then-19-year-old decided to start selling her creations via social media and gained loyal customers who were enticed by her creations.

“I was making a cookie that I think Lafayette didn’t have at the time, which was my favorite kind of cookie,” she says. “So, it’s the closest thing to cookie dough. Some people don’t like it. That’s totally OK. It doesn’t offend me. But my favorite thing is a really gooey cookie. … We try our best to have a consistent product with good service and just offer a thick and gooey cookie that you hopefully can’t get anywhere else.”

The new Perkins Rowe space includes a kitchen and walk-in fridge so Merryman and her team can prep dough and put the finishing touches on cookies and cookie cakes before they are served to customers. Merryman says Perkins Rowe offers some outdoor seating, which the first location lacks, but says that both locations are still very similar and will offer the same product. 

“Everything we do in Lafayette, we’re trying to do the same in Baton Rouge,” Merryman says. “We’re trying to keep it as consistent as possible, that way you could try the same products in each location. … I hope that you can close your eyes and taste a cookie from Lafayette, and it’ll taste the exact same in Baton Rouge.”

Though originally from Lafayette, Merryman and her business are no strangers to Baton Rouge. Since announcing her second location, Caroline’s Cookies popped up at local spots to sell cookies and connect with a new community. Merryman’s Baton Rouge pop-ups routinely attracted long lines of hungry customers, with cookies usually selling out within the first hour. 

Merryman says she didn’t expect her first pop-up at Hemline in Towne Center to be so crowded. She recalls telling Lafayette employees who drove to work the event to expect to stay no later by 3 p.m. to ensure they’d beat the traffic home. But, the line wrapped around the Towne Center strip caused the hundreds of cookies they brought to sell out not long after the noon start time. Merryman felt both blessed and shocked. 

“I didn’t have low expectations, but I didn’t have any expectations,” she says. “I really did not think we were going to sell out. Pulling up (to Hemline) like that gave me the confidence boost I needed.”

Merryman opened her Lafayette storefront in August 2021 and says she first started thinking about another location about a year later. 

“I played with the idea,” she says. “One day I wanted to do it; one day I didn’t. Then, finally, in February I felt comfortable enough in Lafayette. Everything fell into place, and I had someone to run the store. So, February was when the idea was really settled in. Then, around Easter … the location (started to come) to life.

Merryman has now made a temporary move to Baton Rouge to ensure everything runs smoothly as the new location gets up and running. Besides offering those sturdy, sweet cookies to Louisiana’s Capital City, she hopes to make an impact in her new community just like she’s done through her business in Lafayette. 

“It’s never been about money or this or that, but to have a team of girls (whose lives) we can impact. Because, in Lafayette, most of those girls are so tightknit now,” she says. “We’ve (also) done a ton of fundraisers, donations and all those sorts of things in Lafayette, so I’m excited to do that in Baton Rouge.”

Though the store officially opens today, Merryman says she’s already incredibly thankful for the Baton Rouge community and the support it has shown her before her second location’s doors even opened. She also hopes any new customers who are now trying her cookies for the first time love them as much as her Lafayette customers do. 

“Thank you to Baton Rouge, and keep spreading the word,” she says. “Word of mouth is how we get our name out. … As a small business, customer feedback is everything, so I appreciate all the opinions.”

Merryman says the Baton Rouge location will start offering catering, cookie cakes and delivery options in 2024. And, of course, more thick and gooey cookies in a variety of flavors. 

Caroline’s Cookies is open today from 11 a.m. until sellout. Follow the cookie shop on Instagram to stay up to date with the new location’s hours and flavor offerings.