Holiday Season Not Over in Louisiana!
Mardi Gras will descend upon Louisiana early this year in February, with little time to recover from the holidays—but businesses like popular king cake bakery Dong Phuong’s say that business is already booming.
The bakery’s President Linh Garza said the assembly line is cranking out about 1,600 king cakes a day, which would normally be a two-day process.
“It’s pretty hectic,” Garza said.
She said during carnival season Dong Phuong Bakery & Restaurant is able to double its staff from 40 to 80 workers.
“We do 3 shifts, 24 hours a day for 6 days a week,” said Garza. “Cisco is bringing stuff every day because we don’t have the storage space for a lot of the ingredients.”
Online orders opened on New Year’s morning and within five hours, every slot was filled.
“After Katrina we kind of felt like there was a need, especially in our community there wasn’t many bakers around and people were asking, ‘Can you make a king cake?’ So, we were like, ‘We’ll give it a try. Okay,’” Garza said.
Only open since 2008, this New Orleans East bakery anticipates making more than 60,000 king cakes this Mardi Gras season.
MJ’s, which has been open for four decades in Old Metairie, isn't slowing down either.
“We couldn’t get the stuff out fast enough. The day after Christmas when we opened up again people were coming in the door like crazy just wanting Mardi Gras,” said Stacey Kerry. “My last day off was the weekend before Thanksgiving.”
With a majority of merchandise sourced locally, owner Stacey Kerry said she takes pride in keeping prices reasonable. For that reason, she said they have many loyal customers.
Much like other bakeries in the area, MJ’s said it tries to stay stocked, but some items sell out fast.
Starting January 6th, Dong Phuong is allotting about 500 king cakes a day for walk-in purchases. The business also has resellers all over the New Orleans area.