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When Bruce Fontenot first opened the doors to his small custom cake shop in the old cabins of Acorn Acres almost two years ago, he was nestled in the rolling hills and forest of Promise Land just outside of Mountain Home.
The view from his doorstep was a breath taking one, overlooking water.
At the time, Fontenot was laser focused on building 12-15 custom, all natural cakes a week, alongside his popular pies and cupcakes. The ingredients were made with smooth buttercream, fresh fruits and ingredients sourced right here in Baxter County.
To say that his little custom cake shop was a smash hit was an understatement. Good words quickly spread about Fontenot’s work ethic and product, turning him into one of the top bakers in the area. His hard work and dedication to his craft paid off.
Today, the happy baker has improved his game even more by transforming his small cake shop into one of Mountain Home’s newest, and hottest take-out bistro. And it’s located right here in Mountain Home off Highway 5 North.
“I was staying really busy,” said Bruce Fontenot, owner of Fontenot’s in Mountain Home. “I was doing tons and tons of weddings and everyone was asking if I could cater and I was like I can, but my business isn’t capable of it. I really wanted to be able to do that, so I finally I was like ‘you know what, why don’t I just try to go ahead and move into a store front.’”
Born and raised in Southern Louisiana, Fontenot got his love of cooking from his grandmother, who focused on teaching the ins and out of Louisianan cooking and baking.
That love of cooking would eventually grow into a full-time career after Fontenot entered the food-service industry as a server and then a restaurant manager for six years before leaving his native state for the Ozarks, where he would begin to focus on baking full-time.
After arriving in the Ozarks, Fontenot began working at Sugar Lily Baking and Floral in West Plains, Missouri.
Fontenot learned the ins and outs of the industry while working at Sugar Lily’s and focused on perfecting his craft and finding the best ingredients to use while baking cakes. Finally, in August of 2021, Fontenot started his own bakery.
And while the bakery portion of his business is still fully up and running, the Louisianan has returned to his roots, and with the help of his new business partner Bennett Tabor and 20 new employees, by offering a new take-out bistro featuring authentic Cajun dishes to Mountain Home.
“We decided to do Cajun food,” Fontenot said. “We do soups, salads and sandwiches year round and then we have a taste of Louisiana menu and the po-boys. I can’t believe how many po-boys we do. I make a 40 quart pot of gumbo, a 40 quart pot of crawfish etouffee and a 40 quart pot of chicken and dumplings every day.”
Work at Fontenot’s starts at 2 a.m. and doesn’t finish until its doors close at night. The take-out bistro, which is located on Hwy 5 North across the street from KTLO, offers daily fresh pastries like Italian lemon cakes, cannolis, New York cheesecake, tiramisu, chocolate chip cookies, sopapilla cheesecakes, scones and more.
For hungry residents looking for a slice of Louisiana, Fontenot’s has them covered with dishes like fried alligator po-boys, crawfish etouffee, chicken and sausage gumbo, fried boudin, blackened shrimp, andouille sausage and more.
And for those that don’t want to make the drive out there, don’t worry, because Fontenot’s is also running its own delivery service that will bring its food directly to your doorstep.
Catering services are available for groups both big and small, with group sizes up to 1,000 people. For the cake side of the house, Fontenot is currently only taking on wedding orders at this time, but will be returning to making custom cake orders for all occasions in the near future.
To get in touch with Fontenot’s, or to order a taste of Louisiana to your doorstep, call 870-408-3878. Fontenot’s is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.