Replacing the 401 Cafe as the Emporium’s only bakery, Cousins’s Bakery is the newest spot on campus. Photo by James McIntosh.
The local community brought the Cousin’s R.I. Bakery at 100 Fortin Road to life, as seen through how the Cox family runs the shop.
The bakery, which is located across from the Emporium, opened Friday, Feb. 7. The bakery got its name from the two cousins that run it, one of whom is Lu-Anne Cox.
She previously taught dance and is a classically-trained ballet dancer. Additionally, Lu-Anne Cox worked in two bakeries, Sweet Cakes in Peace Dale and The Cake Lady in New London, Connecticut, before opening one of her own. It had been a lifelong goal of hers to open her own bakery after she retired.
“[Cousin’s R.I.] is the first bakery I have opened,” Lu-Anne Cox said.
Lu-Anne Cox doesn’t have any formal schooling in baking, but she makes up for that with her experience and passion, which started at a young age when baking alongside her mother. Lu-Anne Cox doesn’t remember using any cookbooks. Instead, she just figured it out on her own.
The Cox family bought the bakery’s space after the 401 Cafe closed last semester.
“It very much feels like a community effort,” Lu-Anne Cox said. “From my friend from church who painted, my friend who made the curtain, the sister who made the decorations, the plants from friends, my cousins who fixed everything and TLC [Coffee Roasters] where we got the coffee grinder, coffee maker and counter from. I’ve had a lot of help. I’m blessed by my friends and family.”
The food at the bakery changes on a daily basis, which allows Lu-Anne Cox to have freedom when creating the daily menu. If students request something to be made, Lu-Anne Cox will attempt to make it.
Lu-Anne Cox describes herself as a “baking granny” and hopes to get that across in how she has decorated the space.
“It was a different look before we came here and I was going for the ‘coming to granny’s house’ look,” said Lu-Anne Cox. “My big thing is I want people to sit, talk to each other, eat dessert and fall in love. Yeah, I’m a romantic.”
The baked goods that Lu-Anne Cox produces are an extension of her creativity. She finds inspiration for her baking from the cookbooks she has acquired throughout the years and what she finds while looking for ingredients at the store.
The bakery is currently staffed by Lu-Anne, her cousin Terry and Donald Cox, Lu-Anne Cox’s husband. Since the bakery has opened, Lu Anne Cox has been working from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. almost every day. Donald Cox started working in the bakery as a cashier after retiring from an engineering job last month.
“It’s been a little bit of an adventure,” Donald Cox said. “It was her dream; I’m not much of a cook or baker. I just retired one month ago. It was a lot of work, more than we expected, but it has worked out nicely. When I retired I started to come here every day.”
Lu-Anne Cox hopes that more students start visiting the bakery and that they will spread the word about the food and atmosphere.
“Please, come in if you like it, tell everybody and if you don’t, tell me,” Lu-Anne Cox said. “Come back and tell me why you didn’t like it and I’ll try to make it right. I think that’s important. Not everyone is going to like everything I make, but I’m trying to make it good for everyone on campus.”