Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Leah’s Pralines has been in the same location for over 75 years. We are a small, family-owned and operated candy shop where everything is handmade in the old-fashioned way. In addition to a variety of pralines, we make brittles, frosted pecans, dessert sauces, artisanal chocolates and a full line of Creole seasonings. Come visit our store, smell the aroma of candy bubbling in copper kettles, and sample our traditional pralines and our decadent bacon pecan brittle. Whether you are shopping for gifts or just want a quick dessert, Leah's Pralines should be on your New Orleans to-do list.
714 St. Louis Street • New Orleans • 504.523.5662 • email@example.com
Open Thurs - Sunday: 12pm - 5pm
Our store is unique. We are a 3rd generation woman owned business and our recipes date back to the 1930s. We have been making our pralines, frosted pecans and pecan brittles the same way for 75 years. We are a truly authentic New Orleans candy shop. We make everything in store in small batches so you know your candies are fresh. Our store is small and we like it that way! When you come to Leah's, you will be delighted with sweet candy smells and old-timey charm.
Leah’s history began in 1933 as a candy shop called Cook's Confections located on 521 S. Rampart Street. The owner, Mr. Cecil Cook, eventually moved the business to 714 St. Louis Street. In 1944, Leah Johnson purchased the shop from Mr. Cook. At the time, Leah was a fashion model, but she and her husband wanted to be in the candy business. When she purchased the business, she continued to make all of the same recipes and even kept the original equipment.
Over time, the store became known as Leah’s Pralines. By 1984, Leah could no longer run the store on her own and turned to her niece Elna for help. Elna bought the shop from her aunt and still owns the business today. Recently Elna's daughter has taken over managing the shop, making Leah’s Pralines a 3rd generation woman owned business. All of the pralines are made the same way they were made back in the 30s when Mr. Cook owned the business.
Before getting into the candy business, Leah was a model. She was trained in NYC and was head model at Rich’s in Atlanta. After she moved to New Orleans, she worked at Gus Meyer’s on Canal Street and was also the fashion coordinator at Kreeger’s. Both were New Orleans landmark clothing stores of the time.
Leah loved running her own shop and could be found in the front of the store assisting customers, taking orders, and enjoying the tourists and friends that came back year after year. Although she wasn't a candy maker, Leah was a natural saleswoman. They even had an account with the U.S. Navy and sent candies overseas to troops. Leah Johnson passed away in 1992 at the age of 85.
Elna moved to the French Quarter when she was 12 years old. She and her mother lived in an apartment above the candy store and she worked at the store after school. She has fond memories of her days with Aunt Leah, packing and selling pralines with her and even being treated to lunch at Antoine's, Brennan's and Arnaud's. One of Elna’s childhood friends, Richard Simmons, lived two blocks away and actually worked at the shop part-time when he was in high school. Elna’s history with Leah’s Pralines runs deep. Her daughter, Suzie, started managing the shop 5 years ago and has continued the legacy that her great aunt started.
We have been in the same historic location since 1944. The picture to left was taken around 1958. At the time, the candies were sold in vacuum sealed cans (you can see the cans in the photograph). Notice that the store still had the Cook’s Confections sign. It was some time before Leah’s officially changed the name of the business.
When you taste Leah’s traditional pralines, you are tasting a candy recipe that hasn’t changed for over 75 years. Leah made it a point to always use Mr. Cook’s exact recipes. We have continued that tradition today. Leah's pralines, frosted pecans and pecan brittle are a true taste of New Orleans culinary history.