Fat Tuesday gains in popularity for bakery

Taylory's Bakery Fat Tuesday king cake
One of hundreds of king cakes prepared at Taylor's Bakery for Mardi Gras. (WISH Photo/Drew Blair)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Preparation for the day known for indulgence started well before Fat Tuesday for bakers at Indiana’s oldest bakery.

Workers at Taylor’s Bakery in Indianapolis arrived at 9 p.m. Monday to begin overnight preparation of 500 “king cakes” and more than 6,000 paczki, the two pastries most traditionally sought for Mardi Gras.

The family business, owned by brothers Drew and Matt Allen, has witnessed recent growth in the holiday’s popularity.

“It’s probably our fourth largest holiday now. Five years ago, it was nothing. I think we made five king cakes the first year,” Drew Allen said. “The customers have a blast. They’re in a good mood, they know it’s going to be a fun day … It’s something they can really enjoy and get into with their coworkers.”

When purchasing a king cake, customers receive a kit that includes Mardi Gras beaded necklaces, a small plastic baby and an explanation of the French origin of the dessert.

“The three different colors stand for justice, faith and power,” Allen explained. “Whoever gets the lucky baby gets luck for that one year but they buy the king cakes the following year.”

Taylor’s Bakery has been in business for 102 years.

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