When Conroe resident Linda Ezernack opened Vernele’s New Orleans Bakery & Cafe in April 2020, she made sure everything about the business—from the recipes to the business name—had customers feeling like a part of the family.
“Vernele is my middle name, it was my grandmother’s name, and it’s the whole foundation of the bakery and the cafe in that it is all about family,” she said.
Ezernack runs the business with her husband Shawn, daughter Shelby and family friend Amy Brooks. From the cafe’s high-ceiling chandeliers to its fleur de lis-patterned floors, the cafe is reminiscent of the Ezernacks’ familial ties to Louisiana.
“I wanted people to walk in and feel like they were coming into our home,” Ezernack said.
In addition to baked goods such as pies, cookies and cheesecakes, the eatery offers a cafe menu including po’boys, grilled cheese and gumbo. Ezernack said much of the menu—such as the chicken and andouille gumbo—comes from family recipes.
“When we’re making a special wedding cake and we’re doing our banana nut cake, that was derived from my grandma’s banana bread recipe,” she said.
Along with food, the eatery offers coffee drinks and catering services. With spring in full swing, Ezernack said the cafe has seen an increase in demand for wedding cakes.
Despite the current uptick in business, Ezernack said the business had a rough start when opening at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was a challenging time to start [a business], for sure, but we just pulled up our bootstraps and got it done,” she said.
With a coupled love for food and the community, Ezernack said she looks forward to serving the Conroe area for years to come.
“At the end of the day, all we want to do is just feed people [and] take care of everyone,” Ezernack said.
Vernele’s New Orleans Bakery & Cafe
330 N. Main St., Conroe
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Vernele’s New Orleans Bakery & Cafe: Conroe cafe offers homemade recipes, Louisiana flair and family charm
The Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese ($8.95) is made with four types of cheese and served with fries. (Photos by Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)