Shelton resident serving up New Orleans specialties

A taste of New Orleans now may be found in downtown Shelton.

Kim Soto has opened Queen Zuri, a bakery and kitchen specializing in New Orleans delicacies and Southern desserts, at 97 Center St.

Soto has lived in Shelton for more than 20 years with her husband, a retired police officer, and decided this was the right time and place to begin serving her specialties to the public.

She grew up in New Orleans as part of a big family. Her grandmother was a professional cook and all her brothers now are chefs.

“I learned how to cook growing up,” Soto said. “I like to do it — and people tell me I do it well.”

The establishment is named after Soto’s daughter, Zuri, a high school student. It offers everything from gumbo, corn crab chowder and corn bread to praline pound cake, banana pudding and sweet potato pie.

Some other dessert offerings are coconut pineapple cake, red velvet cake, peach cobbler and bread pudding.

Ever had sock-it-to-me cake?

For anyone who’s never had sock-it-to-me cake or 7-Up cake, Zuri’s may be the place to give them a try.

“This is old school,” Soto said of her cooking approach.

She has tried to re-create New Orleans with the interior design as well. Photos of Crescent City scenes hang on the wall and New Orleans music plays on the sound system.

Queen Zuri’s provides an informal atmosphere to sip a chicory blend coffee while savoring a treat, said Soto, who has worked as a state social worker.

“It’s like you’re in our home, because people in New Orleans love to entertain,” she said.

Queen Zuri’s offers catering and gift package shipping as well. It is open Thursday to Sunday, and by appointment for orders. Learn more at