What’s not to love about a doughnut? They’re fried, fatty, crispy, doughy and sweet. You can dip them in chocolate, stuff them with Bavarian cream and roll them in sprinkles.They come vegan, gluten free or covered with bacon crumbles. You can slice them half and use them as a hamburger bun.
Anything that good has to be sold by the dozen. And it should be easy to do, right? Not so much. The doughnut business is cutthroat. It’s a crowded market out there and one dominated by customer loyalty. Plus, the hours are terrible.
Why get into the business? Drake Pothier says because it makes people really happy. The chance to make someone’s day better is a great reason to get up at 3 o’clock in the morning.
Drake owns Village Deaux in Maurice. He and his wife bought the shop in 2019, looking to diversify their income and find something new to sink their teeth into. They navigated the pandemic shut down and came out the other side with a doughnut shop that folks are driving to from all over Lafayette Parish. Which is saying a lot with all the good doughnut spots here. Before running Village Deaux, Drake worked in communications and ran a successful insurance agency, which he sold in 2021.
So everyone loves a doughnut, but not everyone likes politics. And that’s what Marie Centanni sells: ideas. Marie is a political consultant, running her shop Centanni Communications since 2009.
Marie is a vet of the political scene. And her specialty is communicating public policy. That means taking a wonkish piece of legislation, dipping it in chocolate, stuffing it with bavarian cream and selling it to voters. Cynics may not like it so much, but it’s how the policy gets made. And I’m sure Marie has to get up plenty early in the morning to do it.
During the 2021 Legislative session, Marie played a big role in communicating the push for tax reform, a process which took steering several pieces of legislation through a toxic political climate. Marie is a former broadcast journalist, worked as a staffer on Capitol Hill and served as press secretary to former Gov. Kathleen Blanco. She’s advised over 250 candidates through the Candidate Training Bootcamp at the Louisiana Free Enterprise Institute, the nonprofit arm of her top client the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Whether it’s donut or doughnut, Democrat or Republican, Christiaan Mader has you covered on this edition of Out to Lunch Acadiana recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Nathan Davis.
This is our first Out to Lunch show about doughnuts but you can hear more lunch table conversation about Acadiana pies here.