Popular Pop-up Donut Vendor Opening a Brick-and-Mortar in Old Metairie

Paw Paw's Donuts has been building buzz for its brioche donuts since Hurricane Ida.
Photo: Official

Alex Marse has been incrementally building up his donut pop-up called Paw Paw’s Donuts at local markets and events since Hurricane Ida. Now, Marse is set to open a brick-and-mortar takeout spot for Paw Paw’s in Old Metairie, and the buzz ahead of the opening is palpable.

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At the start of a recent interview with What Now New Orleans, Marse was interrupted by someone walking up to his shop at 619 Pink St. and asking if he was open yet, to which he politely said he was not.

“That happens a lot,” he said, “which is encouraging.”

“Opening a brick-and-mortar is really intimidating, especially seeing so many places open and close in this town,” he added. “So, I wanted to do it very slowly and intentionally; putting in the work to build a following.”

After working as a barista in California, Marse came back to the New Orleans area just after Ida and started Paw Paw’s with a free giveaway outside Hey! Café on the Lafitte Greenway. He eventually built a name for himself on Sundays at the Crescent City Farmers Market, slinging filled brioche donuts, breakfast sandwiches, and kolaches. The new takeout spot will feature those same items, and it will add ringed donuts, which are also made with the same brioche dough. In addition, the takeout Paw Paw’s will offer coffee roasted by Cat & Cloud Coffee, a roaster Marse worked for while out in California.

Marse told What Now New Orleans that he was partly inspired to start Paw Paw’s by his grandfather, who was known for buying two dozen donuts for the family on weekends.

“Food and memories are intimately linked,” Marse explained. “We want to be a place where you can create memories with your loved ones too.”

Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and more than a decade of experience writing about restaurants, farms and food production. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for highlighting folks from underrepresented communities.
Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and more than a decade of experience writing about restaurants, farms and food production. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for highlighting folks from underrepresented communities.
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