Scarsdale resident Allison Kushnick is bringing the sweet taste of New Orleans to town.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Kushnick teamed up with her mother, Barbara Gendler of New York City, to share their love of baking sweets with the world.
“Food is such a major part of your life in New Orleans,” Kushnick, a married, mother of three, said. “You just want to have fun with it.”
The family launched Geaux Nuts online in December 2011, and since 2010, has been selling the family’s 40-year-old recipe for chocolate-covered and sugared pecans–a traditional southern treat.
Kushnick, 43, who moved to New York in 1995, said she grew up baking with her mother.
Over the years, the two have teamed up to sell cakes and sweets, mostly for charity or on a small scale.
Whenever a customer would ask her 71-year-old mom why her treats tasted so good, mom would reply, “’I just add a little bit more sweetness to it.’”
After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, her parents moved to Scarsdale. Her dad, a plastic surgeon, lost his business and the family moved north to start over.
Since then, mother and daughter discussed the idea of starting Geaux Nuts. “I love to bake, you love to bake, lets use this nut recipe and share it with the world,” she recalled of their conversation.
The name for the company keeps the traditional Creole in the title and keeps a New Orleans feel to the business, the cofounder said.
“There’s a lot of pride and joy from being from New Orleans,” Kushnick said.
Currently, Geaux Nuts is sold in Scarsdale at Imagine Candy and Cooked and Company. The candy is also featured in Indulge by Mersene’s gift baskets in Westport, Conn.
Now, the Scarsdale resident is “really looking to go big. We want to focus less on the mom and pop gourmets and get into more gifts baskets and hotels,” she said. “We’re just continuing to think big.”
The mother-daughter company, with a staff of two, works out of Kushnick’s Scarsdale home and sometimes rents a kitchen for large orders. The pair sells white chocolate, dark chocolate and cinnamon nuts, all which are gluten free.
In addition to the nuts, the duo bakes and sells a flourless chocolate cake. Currently, the 808 Bistro in Scarsdale is the sole client in town.
“It’s my mom’s recipe,” Kushnick said. “We are doing Geaux Nuts full force and we’re always thinking chocolate cake.”
For more information, contact Geaux Nuts at 914-788-NUTS. Or visit the website at www.youwillgonuts.com