The Melt-O-Way of memories
Dixiana Bakery opened in 1931 under the ownership of Dan Rousseve. Located at the corner of N. Broad and Bruxelles streets, Dixiana quickly established itself as a popular place for doughnuts, French bread and other pastries. The fruit cake was a best seller almost immediately, especially during holidays, and they had a strong reputation for making extra-beautiful wedding cakes.
In 1942, they opened a second bakery at 2382 St. Claude Ave., at the corner of St. Roch Street. With two locations, they provided delivery anywhere within the New Orleans city limits.
The Melt-O-Way Coffee Cake was introduced in 1951, and Dixiana had a state copyright placed on the cake within the year. Described as so tender it would “melt away” in your mouth, it was flavored with vanilla, almond and rum, and came in three shapes: oval, round and heart. Both large and smaller individual sizes were available. With its economical prices, it was widely enjoyed at both special occasions and for everyday dining.
A citywide jingle contest in 1951 resulted in this winning entry: “Melt-O-Way is good to eat, You’ll love this special treat. Buy it now, don’t delay, Dixiana has scored again you’ll say!”
By 1952, the Melt-O-Way was available in seven cream flavors: sour cream, butter pecan, coconut, walnut, cherry, pineapple and apple. Raspberry, strawberry, fig, date and peach were added soon after. That same year, Dixiana introduced their famous Sarah Bernhardt wine cake.
Dan Rousseve died in 1956, but his family continued the business, opening another location at Oak and Dublin streets in 1965. The Dixiana Bakeries were closed in the 1980s, and the properties were sold in 1993.
Dixiana products weren’t carried commercially at shops or restaurants, and were available only at Dixiana Bakeries storefronts. This counter, located in the bakery department of Schwegmann’s Grocery on Airline Highway, was opened as a satellite location in 1951.