A Sunday morning sweet tooth in 2011 turned Jeff Herman from an aspiring entrepreneur into a purveyor of some of Baton Rouge’s most creative breakfast treats. Craving doughnuts the morning after an LSU football game and annoyed by the absence of any shops near his Tiger Manor apartment, Herman had what he describes as an “epiphany” to open a doughnut shop as his first business venture. He began crafting his own confections in a commissary near campus, slowly but surely gaining enough of a following to open his own Tiger Deauxnuts storefront on Government Street in January 2015.
For Herman, being in the food industry has required constant evolution. In 2017, he renovated his space, finally making it what he envisioned when he first wrote his business plan in college. With a brighter and more open space, Herman then merged his doughnut shop with Smokin’ Aces BBQ, a restaurant he started with a friend and later acquired in 2016. By 2018, the BBQ venture had outgrown its small space on Government Street. With an expanded menu that includes everything from breakfast treats and burritos to brisket and pit beans, Herman rebranded the restaurant as Tiger Deauxnuts and Barbecue.
Whether customers stop at Tiger Deauxnuts and Barbecue to indulge in the shop’s infamous maple bacon king cake, a breakfast burrito or a hot pastrami sandwich, Herman wants to provide a unique culinary experience. He acknowledges that can be challenging in a fast-casual setting. To that end, he’s working to obtain a liquor license, and to add televisions and outdoor seating. These days, Herman feels his business has finally grown into something he can relish, which means he’s ready to tackle his next venture. “I enjoy the strategic aspect of owning a business, which is why I’d like to start from scratch and go through the process with something new.”