Paczki prep underway for Fat Tuesday despite pandemic

"I have paczki," said Dawn Henderson.

Henderson doesn't wait until Fat Tuesday to get her sweet treats as long lines in the freezing cold is not for her. So the Monday before - even in the middle of a pandemic - she makes her move.

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"Every year - I'm here - at this bakery," she said.

This is the new Martha Washington Bakery on Joseph Campau and Caniff in Hamtramck and each year - for decades, Sandy Bakic and her family have baked for the masses.

"Me, my sisters, family, friends, husband, children - my parents are still active," she said. "They're in their 80's and they're still active."

Her mother, Ivanka, is still making the paczki after all these years, filling the doughy delights with all kinds of flavors...

"Raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, apple," she said.

The list goes on and it's this kind of history - and sentimentality - that keeps customers coming back year after year, no matter what.

"Tradition, nostalgia - they just want a break from covid - they want to think about something else - something more heartwarming," Bakic said. 

Something that warms your heart and hits the spot.

"They make you feel real good - I do it every year," Gwendolyn Rogers said.

Rogers says she always beats the rush.

"Always on Monday and to let my family know i eat the whole dozen - and now you have it on camera," she said.

"This year Bakic says orders are smaller with people working from home - but they're still selling like crazy.

They're already at capacity - they're not accepting any more orders by phone but you can walk in - just know you may be waiting outside for a while -that's because they're only allowed to have six people in at a time and of course -  you have to wear your mask.

"Extra precautions - we sanitize credit cards, debit cards - we're trying - we're doing our humanly possible best to keep everybody safe," she said.

With so much snow expected it could be a cold wait on Fat Tuesday - but Sandy says they'll still be making paczki for the next couple of Saturdays to meet the demand and give people something good in these difficult times.

Dawn Henderson and her prized paczkis.

"We just all need a break - we just all need a break to think about happy thoughts instead of Covid," she said.