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Sisters take on obstacles to keep baking at Kookie Haven

Kookie Haven, is owned and operated by sisters Darla McCuen, Nita Briggs and Kim Haynes.
Credit: Dallas Business Journal
From left: Kookie Haven Owners Kim Haynes, Darla McCuen and Nita Briggs

After weathering the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Dallas bakery run by three sisters known for their culinary prowess had started to return to business after the state reopened. Then their oven burst into flames.

Kookie Haven, which is owned and operated by sisters Darla McCuen, Nita Briggs and Kim Haynes, already had faced a series of challenges before dealing with the flaming oven.

One of those was getting materials and supplies to bake its signature cookies and cakes, as well as materials for cleaning.

“They’re saying ‘wipe more, spray more,’” Briggs said. “But (when) you can’t find Lysol, it’s hard to ‘wipe more, spray more.’”

After the coronavirus hit, the business, located at 337 W. Jefferson Blvd., shut its doors on March 26. Kookie Haven partially reopened on Mother’s Day, then ran into trouble not only sourcing materials needed for both baking and sanitation, but encountering soaring prices.

The business has also been forced to cut back on expenses, including an advertising agency it used.

And that oven fire? After it happened on June 13, the sisters were able to get it repaired and start baking again, Briggs said.

Some of Kookie Haven’s recipes were passed down from their mother, Yovonne “Ms. Kookie” Williams, who died in 2007. The bakery gets its name and about 85 percent of the cookie recipes from her, McCuen said.

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