Coming Clean in the Kitchen

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“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down to lift others.” – a quote entrepreneur Cara Credeur has lived by her entire life. Born and raised in Houma, Cara is a wife, mom of three, gym instructor, and now, an entrepreneur. 

When Cara became a first-time mom, she used those same practices to ensure her baby had nutrient-rich foods. She began researching recipes and was soon preparing homemade baby food straight from her kitchen, free of additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. “I became a stay-at-home mom after having my first child and I wanted my baby to have the healthiest foods, so I began doing research and making his baby food from scratch.” She reflected on her journey to a healthy lifestyle and wanted to help those embarking upon their weight loss journey. Cara became a gym instructor and group fitness manager, helped establish a program called “230”, and completed training to become a weight loss coach, achieving yet another goal. “I knew I wanted to help people lose weight, so I went through training and became a weight loss coach. During that journey, I would share my recipes for healthy eating and videos that happened.”

Cara thought back to what sparked her weight loss journey in her adolescence and decided to use one of her favorite hobbies to inspire others. “When I was in junior high I was overweight and was being teased a lot. One day I woke up and decided I wanted to get healthy. I started to eat better, began losing weight, and discovered a passion for watching cooking shows. It inspired me to create healthy ways for me to eat. I became a vegetarian for a short period and experimented with different recipes to figure out what I liked.”

The first case of Covid-19 in the United States was announced in March 2020, forcing a nationwide lockdown. Cara, like many, found herself struggling to stay motivated once receiving the news that the gym was to be closed temporarily. She received a call from her manager, encouraging her to find a hobby to keep both herself and gym members ardent. To spread hope and raise spirits through trying times, Cara went into her kitchen the next morning to host a live cooking show. She gathered ingredients from her pantry and prepared healthy meals from scratch and shared recipes. 

“I decided to do a cooking show on Facebook every day. I’d create healthy ‘foods’ like peanut butter cookies, watermelon smoothies, and homemade taco seasoning.” She decided to challenge herself and create a cookie dough recipe loaded with proteins and vitamins. “I stayed up the entire night trying to figure out a substitute for butter and sugar to make a cookie dough that had a lot of vitamins and protein in it. So I got on Facebook live the next day and did a live video of me making cookie dough. I had no idea that I was on to something.”

Her first sale was such a success that Cara decided to do a test trial and opened her books for orders. By the end of the week, she had sold 10 cookie dough rolls and received a plethora of positive reviews on Facebook. In June 2020, Cara launched “Cara’s Clean Cookie Dough and Dips,” as a project to give those in quarantine a sweet and healthy treat without feeling the guilt. Her menu has grown gradually over two years; she now offers 25 flavors of cookie dough, muffin mixes, and high protein spinach dips, all made from scratch. Locally known as the “Cookie Lady” Cara’s cookie dough line is extensive and includes healthy options for everyone, including low-sugar, diabetic, and keto friendly high protein cookie dough, Doggie Dough for your furry friends, lactation cookie dough for breastfeeding moms, and an organic kids line free of refined sugar. 

After receiving an outpouring of support in her hometown, she soon realized cooking wasn’t just a hobby; it was her calling. “I never knew that I was on to something. I’ve always loved to cook healthy and I was always known for it. People would always approach me for healthy recipes, from chicken stew, banana splits, and other meal ideas because I had a long journey of healthy cooking. I never knew it was going to get this far. I was thinking, ‘who is going to buy cookie dough?’ But that’s how it started with this particular lady who put this spark into me, and she still buys from me to this day.”

As a mom of three boys, Cara described her mornings as “up with the roosters.” She typically begins her day at 6 a.m., arranging 80-125 orders a week. The patissier shared what it’s like to be a mom, wife, and entrepreneur. “My morning routine consists of getting up to get my kids dressed for school. The minute they leave the first thing I do is take my cold items out to cook and I start cooking my spinach. I confirm all of my orders for that morning at 8am and then I go into Facebook messenger and send order confirmations between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.” 

“Coming this far in my health and fitness journey has been the biggest challenge that I’ve overcome. My biggest challenge was being overweight. I went through a phase of learning about myself, learning to have self-confidence, and learning that weight is just not weight. It’s all about being healthy, feeling good about yourself, and making good choices to live a long life and be with your family,” Cara shares.

She reflects on her health and fitness journey with gratitude, attributing her success to her family, friends and customers who believed in her vision and supported her dream. Cara’s long-term goal is to expand into a business, open a cafe-style storefront in Houma, and host a cooking show, providing viewers with healthy recipes for their families. 

“In the future, I aspire to host a cooking show based out of my kitchen,” smiles Cara. “I grew up watching the Martha Stewart Show every Saturday morning; she inspired me immensely. I’ll provide healthy recipes to viewers and help people figure out what they want to feed their families, tips on meal prepping, and just inspire people to eat healthily.”