Pandemic hinders father’s business that financially supports daughter with autism

Local News

"It brings happiness and joy to others."

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Working parents are still feeling the lingering effects of the pandemic. One father gets creative to help make ends meet.

Louis Carr felt the strain personally. Carr works at a hospital but also makes and sells pralines for his daughter who has autism.

“Carr’s Praline Candy,” said Carr’s daughter. That is the name of their candy business.

Carr said the first thing people say when they taste his praline candy is that it melts in their mouths.

“I didn’t want to settle for less and I wanted to be able to give her the best education she could possibly have, so I started selling pralines to be able to take care of any tuition that was out there for her,” said Carr.

The money helps her attend a school that caters to children with special needs. 

“It feels good to be able to support my daughter with everything she needs. And to be able to get her into a school that helped her get from nonverbal to where she is now and to be able to talk, write, speak,” he said.

“That’s me,” said Carr’s daughter as she pointed to the package of the candy.

Carr said vendors and small businesses like his thrive at festivals and events, but the pandemic has caused several to cancel.

“I was just featured in the Baton Rouge Food Festival this past June where I won first place in the dessert contest,” said Carr.

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“Nowadays, the pandemic is here. It’s slowing things down, but it’s not here to stop us,” said Carr.

He has visited festivals and events all across the state.

“Business was good before the pandemic. Being that we are in Louisiana, Louisiana has so many festivals, so many gatherings, so many community events where we all can come together to be able to share our culture with one another,” he said.

Although times are tough, Carr said this little nugget of gold has brought hope to his family and community.

“When I go to different events, tell my story, people also have stories to tell. It reminds them of other relatives they have had, so that’s a reward in itself,” said Carr.

Their special ingredient is love, his daughter said.

“Don’t give up. Just keep going. Keep your head up and use what talents you have,” said Carr.

He said the key to his business is to stay determined.

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