The wacky donut shop concept is filtering through this country, much like the FroYo movement and the cute cupcake which took our nation to the task of sugary mastication. The latest to hit that scene in the DFW area is Pookies Donuts which is located on Lemmon within ear shot of Love Field.
Owned by mega-cute couple Rinney Keo (aka Pookie) and Joaquin Lewis (aka Joaquin), the pair left their corporate grind to map out their mutual dream in the hospitality business. Pookie is a business information major and Joaquin formerly made his living as a telecom enginee; both enjoy dining of all sorts.
We checked out the tiny shop which is painted in a garish yellow and black motif — she is Asian and he is African American, thus the color scheme. The largish signage outside promised a pretty good Philly Cheesesteak which initially prompted our visit, but we stayed to soak in the couple’s enthusiasm for 6-month old business and pretty much life itself.
The conversation was enjoyable enough to share and went something like this:
You make some pretty fancy donuts here. Why donuts?
Pookie: My family is from West Texas and they own some successful donut shops there. We began looking around for something to open so we could spend more time together, and here we are. We are making donuts and home-made Philly Cheesesteaks.
The location seems a bit wacky.
Joaquin: This was originally a convenience store and we came by to look at the store thinking we could run a convenience store. But she said it would make a great donut shop.
So Pookie, you are Asain. What nationality are you?
P: Oh good lord. Lao, Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese and Chinese. I have a very mixed background, but I am able to speak 5 languages because of this.
J: I am having trouble with just one language. But we really enjoy working together in the shop. We are doing pretty well, and we have cleaned up the neighborhood a bit.
What’s with the Asians and the donut shops?
P: Ha! I have no idea really. It is just something I think they fell into. It is passed on.
J: It’s like an ancient Asian secret. Her dad asked if I was going to marry her before he would help train me on donuts!
What’s the deal with the giant pink gorilla outside?
J: That is Dough-rilla. Our customers love him. He was out there for 6 months and we had to perform surgery on him. Customers would come crying in the window and are glad we saved him.
So we get the donut shop, but how did the Cheesesteak come about?
J: I am from the California, but I love the flavors of the East Coast. It’s ordinary food and not all snooty. There are so many great flavors. We are talking about doing a meatball sub soon. It is what people enjoy. We make the Philly from scratch here in the shop, and bring in the roll from Philly.
P: They love our donuts, too. The cinnamon roll is as big as a hub-cap, and you can actually taste the apples in our fritters.
J: We are all about making the customer happy. We put out samples before adding something new to the menu and take our customer’s suggestions.
What makes a great donut?
J: It can’t be greasy. We change out our oil every day. You have to or it will be greasy.
P: You can always tell if the donut is going to be good if you break it open and there isn’t a lining of grease around the edges.
Have you tried Hypnotic Donuts?
J: We have been to Hypnotic and it is a good shop. We loved the chicken biscuits.
How did you two meet?
P: Ha! Should we tell? We actually met through Match.com. But we have been together for a few years.
What’s the deal with the TV show Cheaters? I heard they like your donuts.
P: Cheaters caught a couple here on Valentine’s Day. We had the whole cast and crew out here eating donuts.
J: Yea, they were like “and they are getting a bear claw and coffee at Pookies Donuts.” The guy was running around and the girl was “are you cheating on me you bastard?”
So you have some crazy assed donuts. What are the hottest donuts you sell?
P: It differs from age group. The kids love the cereal donuts. For the adults it is more the red velvet.
J: It’s a red velvet cake donut with cream cheese icing and red velvet cake crumbles. You know, our donuts are like the new cupcake. It’s not that we put all this stuff on the donuts, but they are really gourmet. When people open up our donuts they are like “woooo”.
P: I don’t know how we got into this, but we really enjoy making donuts. We were in the corporate world and around all these crazy people. This is fun for me. We get to make people happy.Pookies Donuts 6522 Lemmon Ave, Dallas