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Sarah Hays has turned her love of baking and cooking into a business with her shop at White Star Market called Counter Space BR.

Hays is an LSU alumna who now owns her own bakery business. She was an active participant in LSU Greek Life, Student Government and several other on-campus organizations. She even worked at the University for a few months after doing a two-and-a-half year internship with a campus ministry.

Before Counter Space BR, Hays spent the majority of her career doing fundraising, event planning and non-profit management.

The idea for Counter Space came when Hays was looking to start a side business. She started by hosting a cocktail-making class and a coffee class at her home. After talking to a friend of hers, Hays decided to start selling her cookies at the Mid City Makers Market. Business was successful, and she started getting custom orders and got the opportunity to start selling to Light House Coffee shop.

Now, Hays operates out of the White Star Market and plans to open her own stand-alone bakery later this month.

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“I love employing people and giving people the opportunity to be creative and learn. I also truly enjoy running a business,” Hays said. “Working on pricing and goals and menus and finding new avenues for revenue are a really fun challenge for me."

For Hays, her favorite thing to bake is brownies. She says they are just so simple and delicious. She also enjoys decorating cakes and considers it to be a relaxing activity and stress reliever. Baking isn’t always relaxing and easy, but Hays is always up to the task and loves taking custom requests.

In the past, she has created lactation cookies for breastfeeding moms and challah bread. She also enjoys the challenge of creating new and unique flavor combinations for cakes and frosting. Some of the items offered on the menu at Counter Space BR are cookies, whoopie pies, certain breakfast items and cakes by the slice or whole.

With Mardi Gras season coming up, Hays has added the traditional Louisiana King Cake to the menu. Once she opens up her bakery, Hays is looking forward to adding croissants and other pastries to the menu since she’ll have more space to bake and experiment.

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Hays’ store is located at the White Star Market gourmet food hall at 4624 Government St. in Baton Rouge.

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