Meet some unsung heroes of Mardi Gras

From Gulf Coast Magazine:

From costumes and balls to king cakes and parades, there’s a lot that goes into a successful Carnival season. The floats and royalty may be front and center, but plenty of hard work occurs before the pageantry. Meet a few of the crucial experts who make Mardi Gras happen behind the scenes.

Sherri Paul Thigpen Owner, Paul’s Pastry Shop

Throughout the year, Paul’s Pastry Shop is a full-service café and wholesale bakery. During Mardi Gras, the Picayune store provides all the essential Carnival sweets, including cookies, assorted desserts and its signature king cakes.

“We also wholesale our king cakes to approximately 40 other retail businesses in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana during the Mardi Gras Season,” says owner Sherri Paul Thigpen.

She notes that Paul’s is known as the “home of the original fruit-and-cream- cheese-filled king cakes,” as it was the first bakery to produce this treat. During Mardi Gras season each year, which starts Jan. 6 and continues to the day before Ash Wednesday, the shop produces 70,000 – 75,000 king cakes.

“We employ two work crews: one night crew that bakes the king cakes and one day crew that finishes and packages,” Thigpen says. “We also ship about 3,500 king cakes to all 50 states.”

Read the full story at or in Gulf Coast Magazine, January 2023, page 24.

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