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Doting Black-owned bakery in Dallas' Oak Cliff is closing its doors

Doting Black-owned bakery in Dallas' Oak Cliff is closing its doors

Yummy cookies. Photo courtesy of Kookie Haven

A beloved bakery in Oak Cliff is closing its doors: Kookie Haven, a family-owned sweet shop at 337 W. Jefferson Blvd. from sisters Shinita Briggs, Darla McCuen and Kim Haynes, is closing its doors.

Briggs and McCuen confirmed the closure, stating that their final day would be July 9.

"Kookie Haven is permanently closing and it's with sadness, but we wanted everyone to come out this weekend to say goodbye," the sisters said.

They hinted that the issue was financial, saying that "maybe a quick miracle can change things," but then confirmed the closure was permanent.

"After COVID, not everyone realized we were back open full time," they said. "But also, inflation has gotten so extremely high that it was harder to stay in business. Prices have risen on every single ingredient we purchase. Vanilla used to be $14 or $15 a bottle — now it's $47. We had to raise our prices, and people don't understand why. We tried to keep the increases down, but we just aren't able to do it anymore."

The bakery is known for its cookies, brownies, cheesecakes, pound cakes, decorated cookies, cookie cakes, bundt cakes, and Haynes' fancy decorated cakes. Signatures include their German chocolate cupcakes and their "stuffers," a decadent treat featuring a cupcake baked inside a cookie.

They were among the few local bakeries that did vegan cakes, and also offered a create-your-own option where customers can choose from a selection of in-house products to create their own customized cookie flavor.

They innovated often, introducing items such as cookie dough in 2019 at the height of the cookie dough craze; as well as a clever cake batter that you could take home and bake into your own cake.

Named for their mom Kookie, an accomplished baker who inspired them to begin baking when they were young, the bakery was first founded in 2002, when the sisters opened a storefront in DeSoto. They closed in 2006.

In 2014, they revived it as a home-based bakery under the Texas Cottage Law, then opened a storefront in Mesquite in 2015, where they developed a devout following.

They relocated to Oak Cliff in 2018, in a cool urban space with cement floors and chalkboard paint on the walls, which were lined with flowery designs.

The closure news was met with disappointment, with some customers urging them to "come back to Mesquite!" "What are we going to do for great desserts? tried other and no one compares," said another fan.

Beyond their sweet goods, the shop was also known for its sweet and doting customer service, and they emphasized that in their goodbye.

"Customer service is so important," they said. "Customers need to know that you value them and appreciate them."