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New Orleans-Inspired Pastry Shop NOLA Doughnuts Closes All of Its Portland-Area Locations

The shops, known for their square croissant-doughnut mashups known as “la’ssants,” have shuttered due to the ongoing financial impact of the pandemic

Two rows of square doughnuts at NOLA Doughnuts.
“La’ssants,” or square doughnuts with laminated dough, from NOLA.
NOLA Doughnuts
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Portlanders have eaten their last la’ssants: NOLA Doughnuts, the New Orleans-themed shop specializing in beignets and croissant-doughnut hybrids, closed all of its locations in the greater Portland area January 5, the team announced on Instagram. The owners attributed the closure to the state of the economy and burden of the pandemic.

“The slow rebound from the pandemic and the current economic conditions have led us to make this difficult decision,” the closing announcement reads. “We have enjoyed serving everyone our delicious New Orleans inspired treats over the years and we want to thank our amazing team members and our customers for being a part of this journey.”

NOLA Doughnuts first opened in Lake Oswego in 2015, a collaboration between New Orleans-raised siblings Robert Herkes and Connie DeMerell and their friend, Frank Halpin. Herkes was a home baker who had become fixated on doughnuts — in particular, fried dough filled with vanilla pastry cream. Over time, the shop developed a following for their square laminated pastry doughnuts, which arrived flaky, filled with things like raspberry jam or passionfruit curd, and blanked in glazes like chocolate-chicory ganache or Madagascar vanilla. The shop’s fresh-fried beignets were another draw, especially at a time when beignets were relatively rare in the Portland area. NOLA Doughnuts was also one of the few spots in the area where people could find King’s Cake in the winter, a tradition for the season around Mardi Gras.

The team went on to open two more locations: One in Portland’s Pearl District, and another in Beaverton. The Beaverton location, which opened in 2022, sold a broader menu of beverages and heartier fare, including Monte Cristo and crawfish handpies, bread pudding French toast, and mimosas.

Read the full closing announcement here: