La Vie En Rose Café, a colorful coffee and pastry shop, has moved into a space at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. and will officially open the doors of their new location on June 22.
The building is also home to art studio Big Sexy Neon, and formerly housed the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, before their move to St Claude Ave. in Arabi. The café’s space, located in the front of the building, was the previous location of Church Alley Coffee and Orleans Coffee House.
Owner Kirby Jones initially started La Vie En Rose Café as a bike café popup at Martin’s Wine Cellar. From there, her business grew and she moved the café into the Contemporary Arts Center.
“We were at the CAC, and then Covid hit,” Jones explained. “We shut down and then reopened in September, and we operated there until our lease ended in March.”
Jones’ goal for the café is to be one of the coolest coffee shops in town, and she’s well on her way with a fun location like the Big Sexy Neon studio, where artist Nate Sheaffer creates neon designs for businesses and collectors.
“The neon art studio is a fun space and they make neon all day long, to rent or buy,” Jones explained. “We are also going to be renting out the coffee shop space for events.”
Jones got her start in the coffee biz by first working as a barista. A lifelong New Orleanian, Jones’ Creole family has been in New Orleans for over 300 years, and she describes coffee as a part of her culture.
She explained, “My grandmother used to make coffee with a lot of cream and sugar, and we would dip Bunny Bread in it when we were as young as two. Coffee is deep rooted in the Creole culture and it’s always been a part of my family.”
As for La Vie En Rose Café, Jones offers a variety of specialty drinks such as the café’s signature drink Rose Cold Brew, which is made with rose cane syrup.
Other coffee treats include S’more Latte, Salted Caramel Latte, and a seasonal Chocolate Santa hot chocolate or latte, a tribute to the 7th Ward’s Chocolate Santa made with peppermint and toasted marshmallows. The café also serves other drinks such as tea and kombucha from local brewer, Succotash Ferments.
La Vie En Rose Café offers pastries from local vendors as well as sandwiches. Using local vendors and local products is important to Jones; she said she wants to help other businesses while building her own brand.
“I use small, local businesses as often as possible,” Jones said. “We work with companies like Levee Baking Co., who provide our pastries, because I want to support small businesses.”
In addition to using local pastry makers, Jones makes her own pastries. She is known for her Crawfish King Cake and her Queen Cake, available during Carnival season.
Jones is happy to be bringing her own brand of café to the area and hopes that locals will enjoy the space; she wants neighbors to find it welcoming.
“The shop is an ode to New Orleans,” she said. “I’m excited to be on Oretha Castle Haley, serving the neighborhood. We went to be an inclusive, safe space where anyone can come in and have a good time.”
La Vie En Rose Café is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reporter Marielle Songy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.