#McKenziesMemories – Chocolate Donuts!


McKenzie’s Pastry Shoppes, on Cleary in Metairie (NOLA.com photo)

#McKenziesMemories – Chocolate Donuts!

McKenzie’s Pastry Shoppes are long “Ain’t There No More,” as we say here. There are a number of reasons why the chain remains a fond memory of many. The main reason is how ubiquitous the stores were. You could find a McKenzie’s in just about every neighborhood in the metro area. We’re going to talk about some of those locations. So, that’s going to include the baked goods as well.


McKenzie’s donuts were always a hot debate topic. The chain’s business model made donuts a challenge. McKenzie’s operated a central bakery plant in the Ninth Ward. From there, they trucked the day’s goods to the stores. Shops like Tastee sold fresh hot donuts. McKenzie’s donuts were tough to sell by comparison.

McKenzie’s recognized this. They had the perfect response: lower prices. Picking up a dozen donuts from McKenzie’s was easy and cheap. By the time they arrived at the office, nobody got all that upset. Free donuts, after all. Same for big events, like a church’s after-mass donut social. McKenzie’s rolled easily with large orders. The shops opened early, even on Sundays.

Competition and Coffee

“Hot glaze” are the mantra of places like Tastee and Krispy Kreme. Other than basic glaze, instant gratification is less important. Everybody’s chocolate covered donuts sit in the case, for example. That worked for me.

McKenzie’s vanilla cake donut, covered in chocolate was a favorite. When I first started out as a computer consultant, my routine was to get out of the house early. TV was a distraction. The coffee shop phenomenon was not yet a thing. I’d go out to City Park or Lafreniere Park to read and write. There was a McKenzie’s shop on Veterans, in the strip mall near David Drive, where Chuck E. Cheese Pizza is. Breakfast for me was a couple of donuts and a pint of chocolate milk. Usually, one of the donuts was a chocolate cake.

Those donuts became an addiction! Then the chain closed down, leaving me with a hole in my breakfast menu. A lot of other folks make similar donuts, but they never measured up.

Blue Dot Donuts


Chocolate Covered Cake donut, from Blue Dot Donuts on Canal Street

Until Blue Dot Donuts, that is. While their chocolate cake donut isn’t exactly like McKenzie’s, it’s close. Close enough for me. My current breakfast place of choice is Wakin’ Bakin’, on Banks Street in Mid-City. They get donuts from Blue Dot. The donut shop is only a few blocks away. So, when the daily selection includes chocolate cake, I’m there!

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