Cookies on the Street
Kizito Cookies is located at 1398 Bardstown Rd in Louisville, Kentucky’s Highlands Neighborhood, but it wasn't always located there. In fact Kizito started thousands of miles away from Louisville by a woman named Elizabeth Kizito. Elizabeth was born in Nansana, a small village in Uganda. It was there where she learned the value of hard work and courage from her parents. Seeing these characteristics from her parents taught her at a young age what it takes to make dreams happen, even if things were hard at times. Elizabeth’s parents are a huge part of her “American Dream” story.
Elizabeth was first introduced to the cookie by a co-worker when she first moved to Louisville from Africa. She accounts this moment as a very important one. She says, “that is where the obsession began. Almost immediately after having my first cookie, I had to learn the recipe so I could make more cookies for myself.” Once she started baking cookies, she would bring them in to work to share with her co-workers and after some time her co-workers suggested that she sell the cookies to them, as well as other people, and businesses downtown.
Not knowing the first thing about starting a business scared Elizabeth, but that did not stop her. Elizabeth noticed something about the United States that was different from Africa, and that was if she worked hard and had courage like her parents taught her, she could do anything she put her mind to. So with that realization, Elizabeth went for it! With help from some friends, Elizabeth started baking her delicious cookies at a friends pizza shop, and turned a small bar cart into her street vending Kizito Cookie Shop. Little by little Elizabeth started to build an amazing following as she set up shop all around downtown Louisville with her five year old son by her side. As time passed she came affectionately known throughout Louisville as the “Cookie Lady.”
It wasn’t until Elizabeth’s mother visited from Uganda that she started to think about moving into an actual bakery. She says her mother, knowing little English, says there is a store front empty down the street that is where you should put your new shop. Of course it wasn't as easy as her mother made it sound, but Elizabeth knew that if she was going to move into here own bakery she was going to have to get loans. This was something that she knew would be hard for her to get. Thankfully, her landlord at the time was nice enough to co-sign the loan for her as long as the bakery was up and running in 6 months. That was a pretty daunting task for Elizabeth and her husband, but cookie by cookie, little by little, they got the money to do the renovations needed to open their new bakery in the Highlands!
Through the decades Kizito Cookies has grown into a famous, local bakery. Elizabeth is known as the “Cookie Lady” through out Louisville, and at Slugger Field she is the “Cookie Lady that carries a basket full of cookies on her head.” That is another story for another time. Kizito has been a huge success story, but without the friends she’s made along the way, the lessons she learned from her family, and a dream, it wouldn't have been possible.