By Lofton Wheeles
For the Opelika Observer
Mo’Bay Beignet Company is branching out from the Mobile area and crossing into the Loveliest Village on the Plains with its second location opening in downtown Auburn at the end of the month.
Owner of Mo’Bay Beignet Company Jaclyn Robinson initially started the business as a fundraiser and then branched out by selling the products in shops such as Priester’s Pecans.
“I felt God lead me to start the business as a fundraiser,” Robinson said. “Then, everything snow-balled and the products became popular. So, I took a leap of faith and opened a brick-and-mortar store in the Mobile area.”
Robinson mentioned that she was approached in the summer of last year by Tripp Skipper, an Auburn local and a Mobile native.
“I thought that I would eventually expand the business, but I didn’t expect it to happen this quickly,” Robinson said. “After I spoke with him, however, I felt like it was the right time to make that jump.
“Auburn was on my list for locations that I thought Mo’Bay would be a really good fit. I’ve been to Auburn several times, and I’ve always felt that there’s a very hometown feel about Auburn. With Auburn being a college town, I felt that Mo’Bay would do well and bring something unique for college students and the Auburn community to enjoy while giving people a place to hang out, meet with friends and study while using our free WiFi.”
Mo’Bay Beignet Company provides authentic, homemade beignets, a quality that the business takes pride in. “All of the beignets are made in-house, from scratch and cooked to order,” Robinson said. “It’s not a fast-food restaurant. It’s important to me that every customer gets a fresh, made-to-order batch of beignets on the spot.”
Robinson also plans to add domino sets on each table in the café to enhance the “Mo’Bay experience.”
“My grandfather absolutely loved the game of dominoes and I really wanted to add the game to each of the café tables to honor his memory,” she said. “However, due to the ongoing pandemic and sanitary reasons, I’m not implementing the idea I have at the moment.”
Mo’Bay Beignet Company also likes to add signature syrups to go with the beignets for dipping purposes.
“The signature syrups available are buttercream and cinnamon,” Robinson said. “I also like to bring in seasonal syrups such as chocolate for the winter time and fruit-flavored syrups for the summer time. The syrups are always a hit, and customers like to try them out every time there is a new one.”
Robinson said the most rewarding part of her business is seeing the joy in customers who try the beignets.
“It brings me joy to see people loving the beignets, loving the café, posting their love for Mo’Bay on social media and people wanting to share with their friends and family about how much they love Mo’Bay,” she said.
Of course, not everything is always easy.
“The most difficult part, however, is communicating to the customer base that you are coming to more of a bakery-like business where your item is being freshly made to order, from scratch for you versus fast-food,” she said. “We do this to ensure our customers get the best quality product made with love and care.”
Robinson is also looking forward to becoming a part of the Auburn community.
“I’m truly excited to have another community to bring our warm, welcoming environment to,” she said. “I’m excited that the Auburn community can have a new place where people feel like they can relax, have a good time and feel comfortable and safe. Overall, Mo’Bay provides a really good work environment and customer environment.”
Mo’Bay Beignet Company has also created buzz among the Auburn community, especially its city workers.
“We’re excited to welcome yet another unique dining option to downtown Auburn,” said Auburn City Manager Megan McGowen Crouch.
Mo’Bay Beignet Company will open its downtown Auburn location at the end of the month. You can follow its Facebook and Instagram accounts facebook.com/mobaybeignetcoauburn and @mobaybeignetcoauburn, respectively.