Mr. Ronnie’s is coming to town – Boutte, that is.
The location will be the first of up to 25 stores planned in Louisiana by a newly-formed business group called DBM Investments. Plans are to open the local 1,200 square-foot store in the Domino’s Pizza building by mid-January.
The much-anticipated arrival of the Houma-based “famous hot donuts” chain will bring 24-7 service with drive-through window, Community Coffee and specialty foods, said Brandon Champagne, the owner-operator who will manage the store.
Champagne along with Marty Boquet, both of Houma, and Don Steil of Franklin are the group partners.
About two years ago, Houma businessman Errol Malbrough proposed to open a location in St. Charles Plaza in Luling near Walmart, but the deal apparently wasn’t finalized.
In addition to Mr. Ronnie’s famously tasty donuts will be food that will include the “Mr. Ronnie Burger,” a “donut slider” burger and Kolaches (pig in a blanket) for breakfast. The opening has been timed to also take advantage of Mardi Gras because they will make king cakes.
Champagne said the menu could expand depending on demand.
Customers can also anticipate the same brightly colored red-and-yellow exterior style of a Mr. Ronnie’s donut store.
But Champagne said it will include a 17-foot high mural of their own logo that should be up by January.
The new store will create 25 jobs.
Boquet said, with Louisiana rights to Mr. Ronnie’s franchise secured, they plan on opening their next stores in Baton Rouge and possibly in Shreveport.
Boquet said his wife was actually the catalyst to opening Mr. Ronnie’s franchises.
“This all started with a story of Marty searching for something and I kind of had my eye on the donut industry for many years,” he said. “I was in the drive-up window getting Mr. Ronnie’s and my wife told me this would be a good company to own. I started digging into it, and then Brandon proposed his own franchising model and I suggested Mr. Ronnie’s – and that’s how all this came together.”
But Boquet said he was also inspired by a love for children and putting smiles on their faces, which Mr. Ronnie’s has certainly done for his daughters.
“It’s about kids for me,” he added.
Champagne agreed it was the same for him and his children, as well as making everyone smile. He mused, “Sometimes, you need a Mr. Ronnie’s donut just to pick you up from a crappy day.”
Both Boquet and Champagne delightfully agree the donuts are comfort food for children and adults.
Champagne, who is about to finish six weeks of training at Mr. Ronnie’s headquarters in Houma, has learned the donut maker’s proprietary process of ensuring they always have 24-7 hot glazed donuts and they are always fresh.
“I like to call it the Mr. Ronnie special because you have a hot donut, still crispy and covered in glaze,” he said. “Just imagine a cinnamon roll with the most amount of glaze that you can’t see any dough. When you bite into it, it’s a euphoric feeling.”