If you’ve been on Facebook the past week, you have likely seen photos of Dripp Donut’s new brick and mortar location in downtown Shreveport at 421 Market Street.
Dripp Donuts is open Tuesday-Saturday, 7 am- 5 pm for now. Initially, their menu will consist of their great donuts, coffee and kolaches, but later, expect some lunch items to enter the mix. For right now, their popular new hot chicken will only be available at food truck outings, not at the donut shop.
We love that the Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation (DSDC), which is the owner of the building, could help Michelle and Caleb’s bucket list dream come true. Truly, how could we NOT be impressed by this amazing couple? Theirs is a story worth sharing,
a tale of two people who knew nothing about donuts, other than the fact they liked to eat them, who have developed a little donut business that has become a thing. It is a rare day that the black Dripp Donut van returns home from a sales site with anything more than crumbs, a crust, and a bit o’ frosting.
I first became aware of Dripp Donuts at the Shreveport Farmers’ Market when they debuted in the summer of 2021. When I arrived early that opening market morning, I saw a line that snaked through the center of Festival Plaza, with people waiting patiently. “What in the world?” I thought, as I went to see what had created the commotion. It was Michelle and Caleb King and their donuts.
Let’s go back to the start, to the part about them knowing nothing about donuts.
In late 2020, in the year of Covid, Caleb and Michelle travelled from Canada to Shreveport to visit Caleb’s parents. They ended up loving Shreveport and being with family, found a house they liked and decided not to return to Canada, where Michelle was a buyer for TJ Maxx and Caleb a property manager who also dabbled in landscaping.
“We had had enough of the city,” Michelle said of their former home of Toronto, “and we saw opportunity here.” It also did not hurt that Michelle was pregnant with their first child Edwin at the time.
Is it time to make the Donuts?
During Canada’s restrictive Covid shutdown, Michelle and Caleb logged a lot of time at home and Caleb was able to indulge in another passion of his, cooking. “We ate a lot,” Michelle laughs. Sourdough, you may remember, was popular during Covid. Making sourdough starter takes time and that is one thing people had.
When they moved to Shreveport, Caleb decided to indulge in his cooking dreams, and found out about Cohab’s kichen through Jim Malsch, a man who has a habit of mentoring entrepreneurs. Michelle and Caleb have traveled a lot and along the way, have seen some really remarkable donut shops. It is a ‘traditional nostalgic treat’, she says, ‘and we saw a gap in the local market.’ Within months, Caleb was able to turn his love of cooking and his short stint at culinary school into a new line of sourdough donuts that he and Michelle called ‘Dripp.’
In urban slang, ‘Drip’ refers to swagger, sparkly things and being cool. Michelle says the word also evokes the drips created by hot frosting. It worked, and the ‘Dripp’ name was born.
“People want these things here,” Michelle says, “they are willing to try new things.” Apparently they are. Over the past months, Dripp has debuted a huge line of flavors, many due to feedback from customers. Their ten current go-to flavors recently welcomed both seasonal lemon and peach because of customer input. “There is still so much runway (for new products)” says Michelle. ” We don’t see any slowdown in the creativity of it. There are savory versions and breakfast options, too.”
Over the past several months, Caleb and Michelle and various family members have been cleaning, painting, building, coordinating and doing the million things necessary to prepare for their new store at 421 Market Street, their very first brick and mortar. During all this, Michelle was pregnant with child #2, a beautiful little boy named Emmett who joined the equally amazing Edwin. “Boys run in my family,” laughs Caleb.
New Store, New Everything
Michelle is thrilled with this new phase in life even though she knows it will mean even less free time. “We need to be able to get our products into the hands of customers consistently and having a space for events and launches will be wonderful. “We hope to become a destination,” she says. They will keep the van because going to neighborhoods will still be key, but their new space, THEIR new space, will be amazing.
“We will be creating the vision as we go,” she says. And now, you can join them!