Maw Maw Tootsies Bruncheria grand opening in Donaldsonville

Darian Graivshark
Ribbon cutting outside of the building.

Breakfast and lunch combined into one. Brunch is always a delicious route to take.

A new bruncheria has opened in Donaldsonville called Maw Maw Tootsies. It is owned by Lee Melancon, who named it after his grandmother, Concetta Divencenzo Melancon. She is the youngest, and last survivor of the Divencenzo family from Cefalu, Sicily, who migrated to the United States in the early 1900's.

Many of the recipes that are used include her favorite foods, but with a modern touch and dedication to her memory.

"She lived on 8th Street here in Donaldsonville," Lee Melancon said. "Her job was a caretaker, and she was known for cooking. I ended up living with her when I was thirteen, and I learned a lot about cooking and loved eating what she cooked."

Most of the menu items are named after family members. For example, the Sweet Melissa, the Uncle Joe, and the Carol Ann, amongst many other selections.

"I think the Lisa's Cobb Salad really represents me well, because I really like to eat plain things," Lisa Thibodaux, sister of Melancon, said. "There is also the Sweet Lisa sandwich."

The business was originally supposed to be cafe-inspired, which means it would have helped people learn how to open restaurants and practice in a real setting. Cooks could even feature the foods they made. However, when they did not receive a grant to expand on that they moved forward with opening Maw Maw Tootsies a year later.

"We do not have a full service kitchen, and that is because we work with preserving the history in Donaldsonville. The building is definitely built to last though, and it will," Melancon said.

There is a balcony rail inside of the building that everyone can see as they enter. Melancon noted that they will eventually be projecting a video above that railing, which will show the history of Donaldsonville, as well as the growth and progression of it.

"Our business is just a tiny piece of a much larger effort that is happening in the city, especially with the revitalization," Melancon said.

Maw Maw Tootsies is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and then Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 420 Mississippi Street, Donaldsonville.

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