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Paul’s Pastry hosts Mardi Gras in November

MARDI GRAS: The shop is decorated in festive green, purple and gold colors to prepare for the “Best of” television crew’s arrival. Photo by Dart Spiers

MARDI GRAS: The shop is decorated in festive green, purple and gold colors to prepare for the “Best of” television crew’s arrival.
Photo by Dart Spiers

Paul’s Pastry Shop in Picayune was recently selected to appear on the “Official Best in Destinations Across the Country” television program, and to commemorate the event, owner Sherri Thigpen hosted a customer appreciation day on Tuesday, encouraging customers to come enjoy Mardi Gras in November.

The shop was decorated in purple, green and gold to match the rack full of half-priced king cakes and Mardi Gras butter crunch cookies that Paul’s was selling throughout the afternoon.

The film crew for the program was given a tour of the bakery, which included a firsthand look at how the shop’s famous and now nationally recognized king cakes are made. While the employees were spreading the filling and rolling the dough, Thigpen described the baking process that produces about 2,000 king cakes at a time. That may seem like a lot of king cakes, but it is a fraction of the amount Paul’s makes during carnival time.

“For the 8 weeks of Mardi Gras last year, we sold about 70,000 king cakes,” said Thigpen, “They’re gone as soon as we make them.”

Paul’s king cakes caught the attention of the “Official Best In Destinations Across the Country” crew, who plans to feature the shop on their program as one of the first Mississippi destinations they have ever filmed.

According to the show’s website, businesses are nominated for the title of “Best of” on the Internet. “Best of” researchers will then utilize multiple travel resources and confer with local visitors bureaus, as well as other field experts, before awarding the title to a business. Once production is finished, each feature will remain on the show’s website in addition to the television airing.

This is the first time the show has awarded a best king cake designation, and Paul’s Pastry will hold the title for the next three years.

The show airs on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and the Discovery Channel.