By Nicole Rupersburg | Model D
From the Paris of the Midwest to the New Orleans of the North: Detroit is getting a taste of the Bayou with Beignets.
After many years of travelling to the Big Easy and enjoying late-night beignets with chicory coffee at the famous Café du Monde, Michele Pearson and her partner Mark Hausner launched Beignets to bring the dense French doughnut to Detroit. “We just loved the fact that when people were together eating beignets all hours of the night, listening to zydeco, they were happy,” says Pearson. “We figured with the French influence in Detroit, why doesn’t Detroit have something like this?”
They started introducing Beignets to Detroit with a food truck currently operating Saturdays at Eastern Market and at various food truck meet-ups. “From the warm welcome we’ve been getting from the beignet truck, the opportunity presented itself (to open a store) in Hamtramck, where both myself and (Hausner) have roots,” says Pearson, who is also an interior designer and owns the Yoga Suite in Hamtramck. “We want to do what we can to bring business to Hamtramck.”
Beignets will be located on Joseph Campau next to the soon-to-open Flavor Restaurant. The two businesses are open to each other through their shared wall, and will also share a kitchen.
Beignets will serve the namesake pastry as well as chicory coffee (another New Orleans specialty) and regular coffee. The café will be open both early morning and late evening hours to capture some of the nightlife crowd. It will seat 30-40 people with free WiFi, and also has an outdoor patio out back where there will be more café seating and live music during the spring and summer.
Renovations are underway inside and Beignets will open by early summer. The truck will continue to operate at local events and farmers markets.
Source: Michele Pearson, co-owner of Beignets