Sweetness made with love and laughter
By Beth Volpert-Johansen
The flavors curl right through the air and permeate the space between the front door of the Blue Rooster and the grounds of the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. The fragrance is slightly Willy Wonka-like as the mind is transported back into the cookbooks filled with cherished tried-and-true recipes that found their way onto tables at family reunions, church dinners, and community picnics.
The Blue Rooster’s baked goods and boxed lunches are reminiscent of the traditional at its very peak of deliciousness.
Sisters-in-law, Kyle and Donna Cave, own the Blue Rooster. They have surrounded themselves with a staff of women who manage to laugh often, love fiercely, and bake with closely guarded secrets. “I’ve worked with Donna since before she even became my sister-in-law,” says Kyle. “We are close-knit and have always worked well together.” Their daughters, a niece, and Donna’s granddaughter represent the next generation and are among the many women who have had a hand in stirring up the ingredients that make the Blue Rooster a favorite in Gwinnett and the surrounding areas.
One of the signature flavors that brings patrons back time and again is the chicken salad. Sworn to secrecy, the staff creates around 300 pounds of the creamy chicken salad each week that makes its way into catered boxed lunches and sandwiches. “In the spring, we get orders for our chicken salad by the pound,” says Kyle. “It is served at weddings, showers, graduations, and all sorts of events.” The menu offers a variety of sandwiches, but the chicken salad is a favorite.
Having a loyal following is crucial to any local business. Donna and Kyle have enjoyed some of the same clientele, who have become friends, since the earliest days at their Lilburn location. Being in business since the 90’s has earned them a reputation for quality product and delicious treats. “I think that its good old-fashioned Southern recipes that have been handed down that is part of the secret,” says Donna. “I have my grandmother’s 1940’s recipe book with handwritten recipes.” The recipe book was handed down to Donna’s mother from her own mother and is embellished with handwritten notes beside each recipe. With test kitchen results that have been handed down for generations, it is no wonder that the Blue Rooster has been so successful at the art of cooking and baking.
Beyond the daily offerings at the restaurant, The Blue Rooster’s cake artists produce decorated cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other treats. Each season brings a different twist on their famous sugar cookies. “Sometimes, a cookie is decorated beautifully, but is impossible to eat,” says Kyle. “Our sugar cookies will melt in your mouth while still looking beautiful.”
For weddings, showers, graduations, and birthdays, Blue Rooster Bake Shop and Eatery on the Lawrenceville Square is a “must” for any occasion or just for an ordinary day. Join the ladies who make the bakery a special destination. Have lunch or coffee and dessert. Stroll the shops on the square for unique gifts and boutique offerings. Any way you look at it, Blue Rooster is a sweet deal...just don’t ask for their secrets.
169 W. Pike Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Open M-F 9am-6pm,