Denny and Billy Guilbeaux, who were born 28 minutes apart, opened Twins Burgers and Sweets in June following a notorious dispute with their father. They have since created the business they’ve always wanted.
“We really like making people happy and products that make people happy,” says Denny, who alternates between cutting cakes and swinging his golf club in the kitchen. “We know that if something bad happens in the business, it’s because of us and if something good happens, it’s because of us.”
Denny and Billy liken their business roles to their unique bond and DNA — they’re mirror twins, which means one twin’s strengths are another’s weakness. If one’s right eye is dominant, the other’s left eye is dominant. Denny views himself as the creative mind and is the head of the bakery and kitchen; Billy is the office mind who claims he is better at solving problems.
The two grew up in the original Southside Bakery and What Time is It Bakery in Carencro, and discovered when they were young that they could sell roll-up sandwiches and Christmas cookies at school and turn a hefty profit.
“We sold them for 50 cents each,” says Billy, “and we made $80 each every day.” In middle school, they picked pecans to sell to grocery stores, and figs to make individual pies that they sold out of bus tubs with bottles of milk. “We’ve always worked. We were brought up to work and make a living by using common sense and our work ethic. This is what we’ve done our whole lives: sell cookies and food to people.”
The cookies are out every day in the showcases at their 2801 Johnston St. location, along with the standard petit fours in white, red velvet, strawberry, lemon and doberge. There are also 8-inch cakes in doberge, red velvet and Italian cream. The menu features a new “twin” burger with two house-made freshly ground meat patties seasoned with a little spice sandwiched in a slightly sweet bun. The burger is exactly what it should be — juicy with a hint of seasoning.
“If we can make it ourselves, we will,” says Denny, who has a talent for flipping pieces of cake from his spatula into his mouth. “That way we can control the consistency.”
The taste is familiar and comforting, but still unlike any burger in Lafayette. They also offer turkey burgers, crab burgers and crawfish burgers, and all hold the ability to become cheeseburgers with swiss or pepper jack. Junior burgers are available for those who want a little less than the twins. Denny estimates they sell 400 burgers a day, and says he can’t even begin to count how many sweets he bakes in a week.
“We’re happy to see the same customers we’ve served [at Southside],” says Billy. “They keep coming back, and we see the same faces on a daily basis.”
After Southside closed, the twins’ father filed a lawsuit against the two, but the parties have since settled. The twins agree that the split from their father was not about compensation or money — “it was about what’s right and wrong,” says Denny.
“We learned a lot through it,” says Billy. “The moral is that you can do it, you just have to be persistent with the right intentions. We never felt sorry for ourselves — it was always ‘what can we do tomorrow to open the business?’ We just kept moving forward.”
And with that attitude, they rebuilt the restaurant almost entirely themselves, save for electrical and plumbing work. The first week, their loan fell through and they were forced to pay for equipment and construction supplies on a credit card and the “hope and faith that everything was going to work out. We didn’t have enough money to eat lunch some days,” says Billy. They tore down and built walls to make the kitchen bigger and create a prep area; they retiled the floors, built new countertops and regrid the ceiling. After moving into the space on March 1, they received a loan from American Bank a week later and opened June 11.
Now the twins say they don’t want the business to be about them and instead want the food to speak for itself. “It’s about giving people good food that’s well made,” says Billy.
Visit Twins Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. — Elizabeth Rose
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage