Jeanne Ulcak owned a bakery in Longview for 15 years before selling the business and working as paralegal. But after five years in the corporate world, she said she felt the urge to return to baking and opened Mama J's Donuts in August 2011.
"I didn't know how much I missed it until I got back at my dough table," she said.
Ulcak's son-in-law calls her Mama J, and she said she felt the name fit for her bakery.
Every morning, Ulcak begins baking at the shop at about 3:30 a.m. She hand-cuts the donuts and prepares the icings from scratch.
Business has grown steadily since she opened about six months ago, and Ulcak said she goes through about 200 lbs. of flour and nearly 400 lbs. of powdered sugar each week.
In addition to cake and yeast donuts with multiple toppings and fillings, the shop also sells cinnamon rolls, brownies, kolaches, sausage rolls, apple fritters and clairs. Ulcak said she plans to add more pastries in the future.
Customers can even watch Ulcak and her staff create the confections through a large window that looks into the kitchen.
As the business grows, Ulcak said she wants to build the camaraderie of Mama J's Donuts by attracting regular customers who come in daily. To that end, she sells Mama J's Donuts coffee cups that people can purchase to later fill up for free at the drive-thru window or inside at the counter.
"I like feeding people," she said. "It makes me happy."
Mama J's Donuts, 143 Exchange Blvd., Ste. 100, Hutto, 846-1119