On the booth hangs a mirror for customers to double-check their mouths. “I've walked around with powdered sugar on my face so many times!” says Robyn Wilson, one half of the incredibly charming couple that makes up The Poor Porker — a makeshift, traveling coffee and beignet stand that sets up shop all over L.A., as well as Lakeland, Florida, depending on where Wilson and partner Jarrid Masse feel like being that week.
Wilson, a former caterer for touring bands, and Masse, a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, (“She's the only one who can put up with my manic-ness,” Masse says of Wilson) are living the dream. It's a simple, semi-rootless, freewheeling, DIY life, in which they travel here and there, popping up their handmade wooden booth, frying beignets to order. Really delicious beignets at that, along with iced coffee bearing the unique flavor of chicory smoked in hickory and applewood.
“People think you can't start a business with no money anymore,” says Masse, explaining that they began their beignet enterprise with just $300 and a goal to create good beignets somewhere outside of Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. He built the stand mostly from foraged wood and tchotchkes, all of which create a perfect frame for the down-home, good time vibe The Poor Porker creates.
The beignets are served warm and heavily caked in powdered sugar, though the dough itself remains airy and crisp. That lightness may be due to the vegan recipe they now use.
Wilson tells us there was a girl who used to visit the stand constantly and stare at the beignets, but never order because she was vegan. Finally, partly out of pity, they tried a vegan recipe and found it more to their liking.
Or, maybe it's because Wilson sings Carpenters tunes to the dough as she makes it.
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