LSU marketing alumna Gabby Loubiere took a risk by opening her coffee shop three years after another shop’s closure, but she’s laughing now. Brew Ha-Ha! recently signed a lease for a second location with Willow Grove Shopping Center near Perkins Rowe and is expected to open October 2018.
Loubiere was initially slated to open Brew Ha-Ha! with a partner, but days before signing the lease, she found herself as a sole proprietor. When Loubiere opened the shop 13 years ago in Mid City, the area was on the decline and there wasn’t a hopeful future, but her energy and perseverance kept her determined to be successful.
“I knew a revival of Mid City was coming. Something told me it was gonna be fine,” Loubiere said. “This area went from old school to this young vibe that is part of the growth of Baton Rouge.”
The growth of Loubiere’s business does not stop at opening a second location. Brew Ha-Ha! will also begin to roast their own brand of coffee. They will continue to sell Community Coffee, but will roast special blends and feature coffees of the day at its current Jefferson Highway location.
“I always liked the word ‘brew’ and wanted it to be in the name,” Loubiere said. “Brew Ha-Ha! just seemed to fit.”
Brew Ha-Ha! has created a brand based on simplicity and fun, and Loubiere uses that to expand her market.
A suggestion from a customer turned into a “cake ball explosion” when Loubiere decided to incorporate her grandmother’s cake ball recipes into the Brew Ha-Ha! menu in 2007.
“I couldn’t make them fast enough,”Loubiere said.
Shortly after the cake ball explosion, Loubiere was asked if she could make a cake ball wedding cake. She accepted the offer without hesitation and started a new trend, bringing the coffee shop’s brand to the next level. Brew Ha-Ha! currently sells a variety of cake balls such as super mini cake balls that are paired with shots, extra large cake balls and original sized cake balls, which are now called “large” because of the mini size’s popularity.
Other than her creative name choice and original forms of cake balls, Loubiere branded Brew Ha-Ha! as a business that gives back to the community. She participated in the Epicurean Society Auction in 2016 and has participated in other philanthropic events. She also dabbles in creative branding with slogans that come and go like “We’ve got balls” and “Baller Brew Ha-Ha!”
Brew Ha-Ha! has continuously grown since its opening in 2004 and has employees that genuinely enjoy their jobs.
“It’s really cool to have a boss and coworkers that genuinely care about you and always have your back,” said Brew Ha-Ha! employee Kate Williams. “Being able to bring creativity in the workplace through the cake balls is super cool and makes every day more enjoyable.”
Though Loubiere had setbacks and did not have a conventional start, she has made the best out of it and experienced large success in a growing part of Baton Rouge.
“The store is me. I just think of things, do them and see if they work,” said Loubiere. “The customers, my employees and I have formed a family here at Brew Ha-Ha! and we will continue to be one as Brew Ha-Ha! grows.”