Popular for its king cakes -- coffee cake-like pastries decorated in Mardi Gras colors and baked with a tiny plastic baby representing the infant Jesus tucked inside -- Haydel's Bakery got its start in 1960 as a 24-hour doughnut stand. Five years later, it was a full-service bakery. In the late 1980s, it became the first local company to sell mail-order king cakes, says David Haydel, Jr.
Every year, Haydel's raffles off a large fiberglass replica of the traditional Mardi Gras bead dog for charity. "Kids used to make animals out of the broken plastic beads [thrown from parade floats]," Haydel says. "We've recreated the bead dog for the 21st century." Proceeds from the 2010 raffle will go to Children's Hospital.
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