Marq’e Coffee & Donuts, a brand new neighborhood breakfast den, just opened its doors with a team of industry veterans at the helm.
The new venture at 7613 Katy Freeway Suite C is owned by Sam Phan (who co-owns Morningstar with David Buehrer of Greenway Coffee and Blacksmith) and Allison Ballon the wife of former Anvil Pub bartender David Ballon. The duo picked the pared-down 20-seat location for its ease of getting on and off the freeway, plus the large housing development behind it, according to Allison.
The restaurant is a mom-and-pop alternative to Phan and Buehrer’s Morningstar, the “hipster doughnut mecca,” according to Allison Ballon. She tells Eater that Phan wanted to get back to his Cambodian doughnut-making roots with Marq’e — “there’s no fancy matcha flavor,” she says. To that end, the shop serves up traditional flavors like a classic glazed yeast doughnut, chocolate, strawberry with sprinkles, and bear claws, but it’s also slinging a whole breakfast menu of loaded biscuits, croissant sandwiches, cereal, breakfast tacos, and kolaches stuffed with sausage, which Allison says have been a runaway hit. For beverages, of course Greenway’s coffee is on the menu with lattes, espresso, and cold brew on offer, plus teas and juices.
As far as how the collective came together, Allison explains that a huge portion of Houston’s doughnut shops are owned by Cambodian families. Early in Buehrer’s career he worked for Phan’s doughnut shop, which lead to them eventually opening Morningstar together. Buehrer also connected with Carlos Ballon during his time at Anvil and asked if Ballon wanted to go in on the doughnut shop. “Carlos went to Alabama and learned how to make doughnuts from Sam, who we call the ‘doughnut Jedi master,’” Allison tells Eater. The training paid off, Carlos dreamt up a pomegranate and goat cheese doughnut that Houston Chronicle food critic Alison Cook called “brilliant” earlier this year.
The collective is heading to Dayton (northeast of Houston) for its next venture partnering with a local Cambodian chef on a diner-style restaurant, according to Allison. It’s currently still under construction but stay tuned for more information on that development.
Marq’e Coffee & Donuts is now open and slinging its doughy confections daily from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.