Inside the brick-exposed downtown Mobile cafe is an air of sweetness. It starts the moment customers walk into the well-lit, spacious Mo’Bay Beignet Co., where they are greeted by a joyous staff, a heavenly aroma, white-smudged shirts and slacks, and the sugar-coated faces of Mobile’s littlest diners.
Atop scattered tables are plates filled with what appear to be miniature snow drifts. The deep-fried, powdery confection needs no adornment, but for those looking for an over-the-top, slap-yo-mama experience, flavored syrups, like buttercream, cinnamon and seasonal selections, like blueberry, are available. An iced cafe au lait or freshly brewed coffee and chicory are the perfect complement to a just-because pick-me-up.
That’s what brings people in, after all — the generously portioned goodies smothered in sugar. And if there is any doubt, painted above the entryway is a sign beckoning, “This way to beignets.” For Jaclyn Robinson, owner, “signs” have been an instrumental part of the cafe’s journey.
“Sometimes you have an idea, and sometimes an idea has you,” she explains. “Mo’Bay Beignet Co. was divinely inspired.”
In 2015, Robinson was making beignets in her home kitchen when she was struck with the thought of packaging and selling the mix. What followed was a whirlwind of marketing, logo design (which includes an intentional nod to Mobile Bay) and retail success. In 2019, standing again in her kitchen, Robinson found herself at a crossroads: continue selling mixes and syrups in stores and online or open a brick and mortar location.
“Like every other part of this journey, [the next step] happened quickly and with plenty of God winks along the way,” she reiterates. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to get pulled off, but not surprisingly, God had a plan in place. My parents, the most generous people I know, chose to pay forward inheritance they were given to help make the flagship location a reality. This wouldn’t be possible without them.”
It’s rare that the backstory of a business rivals the sweetness of a menu, but that’s the certainly the case with Jaclyn Robinson and her Mo’Bay Beignet Co.
On the Menu
Pillowy, perfectly tender beignets are what you’ll find on this streamlined, indulgent menu. Served on a plate of 3 or 12, the golden pastry is topped with mounds of powdered sugar and served with your choice of syrup. Signature flavors include buttercream and cinnamon, with seasonal favorites such as lemon cream and pumpkin spice served on a limited basis throughout the year.
Mo’Bay Beignet Co. • 451 Dauphin Street • 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. M – Th; 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. F; 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sa; 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Su