Voodoo Doughnut/Facebook

A cult favorite doughnut chain continues to cast its spell on Houston. Portland-based Voodoo Doughnut opened its new Katy shop early Monday, November 28.

Located in a former dry cleaner at 1301 N Fry Road, the new Voodoo features hand-painted murals, a see-through production kitchen, and the shop’s signature spinning display cases, according to a release. Its drive-thru will be open 24 hours a day.

Voodoo Doughnut has earned wide acclaim for its creative doughnuts such as the signature Voodoo Doll with raspberry jelly filling and the Diablos Rex with a vanilla frost pentagram. Other favorites include the Bacon Maple Bar, the Marshall Mathers (topped with M&M’s, naturally), and The Homer, which is topped with pink frosting and sprinkles.

The company has been on a growth spurt. It opened a Cypress location in April and will add a second Austin location later this year. Overall, Katy is the fourth Houston-area location joining shops in Montrose and on Washington Avenue.

When Voodoo announced the new location this summer, it said it expected to hire 75 employees to maintain its 24-hour operations. Perks include healthcare and paid time off as well as not having to wear a name tag or uniform.

“What makes this store opening in Katy the most exciting is the ability to hire so many folks to join the Voodoo Team right here from the local community,” Voodoo CEO Chris Schultz said in a statement.

Courtesy of Voodoo Doughnut

Edgy Portland doughnut chain entices Houston Astros fans with sweet World Series giveaway

free doughnuts

With all of Houston still basking in the Astros World Series victory, one Houston-area doughnut shop wants to keep the celebration going a little longer. Voodoo Doughnut will give away free Astros-themed sprinkle cakes on Wednesday, November 9.

Really, the deal couldn't be simpler. The doughnuts will be available from 6 am until midnight at all three of Voodoo's Houston-area locations — Washington Avenue, Montrose, and Cypress. Limit one per customer.

"When your local team wins the World Series, you go big,” Voodoo Doughnut CEO Chris Schultz said in a statement. “The Astros have given the city of Houston something to celebrate and with the popularity of our Astros sprinkle cake promotion throughout the playoffs, we knew this was going to be a sweet way to join the festivities.”

As Schultz notes, Voodoo had been selling the sprinkle cakes for 50 cents throughout the Astros playoff run. It's a classic cake doughnut topped with white icing and blue and orange sprinkles.

Although no purchase is required to claim the offer, Voodoo is probably hoping customers pick up another treat or two from the cult-favorite, Portland-based chain. Signature items include the bacon maple bar, the dirt, and the Voodoo Doll with raspberry jelly filling.

Photo by Eric Sandler

Canadian favorite coffee & doughnut shop Tim Hortons now open in Katy

Tim's in Texas

Canadian ex-pats of Houston, rejoice, eh! Your favorite coffee and doughnut shop has made its Texas debut.

Tim Hortons has quietly opened its first Houston-area location in Katy at 21817 Clay Rd. Situated just east of the Grand Parkway, the restaurant features a limited amount of internal seating, a few outdoor tables, and a two-lane drive-thru.

Although Tim Hortons hasn't officially announced the opening, news of its debut has circulated on social media. When CultureMap stopped by Tuesday at 1 pm, cars filled the drive-thru and a line of eager diners spilled out of the door. It's not quite an In-N-Out level frenzy — which required police officers to help manage traffic — but it still demonstrates the enthusiasm for the Canadian favorite.

Once inside, diners will find a variety of doughnut options, including the signature Timbits doughnut holes, along with muffins and breakfast sandwiches on croissants or bagels. Beverage options are extensive, ranging from hot or iced coffee to juices, teas, and sodas.

Patience is advised, as the staff is still learning the ropes. An order on Tuesday afternoon for six doughnuts, an iced coffee, and a chai latte took approximately 30 minutes to be served. Online ordering is not yet available.

Local radio personality Ashlee Young delivered this decidedly mixed review from her visit to the restaurant:

The new location comes from a partnership between Tim Hortons and Houston's CSM Group, which operates Popeyes locations in Texas, Kansas, and Missouri. CSM Group CEO Ali Lakhany told the Houston Chronicle in March that his company plans to open 30 locations across the Houston area, including 10 in the first three years. The company is counting on beating coffee chains like Starbucks with a lower price point and baked goods that are prepared on-site.

“The fresh quality food will be key, and, in Texas, the price point will be another advantage that Tim Hortons will have over Starbucks,” Lakhany said in March. “I think Starbucks is way too overpriced.”

Voodoo Doughnut/Facebook

Edgy Portland doughnut chain casts a spell in Katy with creative and scandalous treats

that voodoo they do

Portland-based Voodoo Doughnut will continue its growth in the Houston area. The cult-favorite doughnut chain will open its fourth local outpost in Katy at 1301 N Fry Rd.

Voodoo Doughnut has earned wide acclaim for its creative doughnuts such as the signature Voodoo Doll with raspberry jelly filling and the Diablos Rex with a vanilla frost pentagram. Some of its more scandalous offerings include the Maple Blazer Blunt and the Cock-N-Balls doughnuts, both of which are shaped to resemble their names.

The doughnut shop made its Houston debut in 2020 with a location on Washington Avenue. A Montrose outpost opened on lower Westheimer last year, and a Cypress location debuted in April. The company posted a rendering of the new location to Instagram.

While an opening timeline has yet to be revealed, the shop plans to hire 75 employees. Perks include healthcare and paid time off as well as not having to wear a name tag or uniform.

“We are super excited to enter the Katy market,” Voodoo CEO Chris Schultz said in a statement. “Having Katy be a part of the overall growth of the Voodoo brand and bringing additional job opportunities to the community, that’s what it’s all about.”

Courtesy of Yonutz

Smash ice cream doughnut shop from Miami bringing cool spot to Houston area

So hot it’s cool

A Miami-based dessert shop is bringing its ice cream-stuffed smashed doughnuts to the Houston area. Yonutz will open its first store in Pearland Town Center later this year, the company announced.

Consider the signature Nutella Crunch Smash Donut that's cut in half, filled with cookie dough ice cream, heated in a waffle iron-style griddle, and topped with Oreos, cereal crunch, and Nutella drizzle. It's a hot and cold taste experience that's won awards at the annual Dessert Wars competition and attracted an investment from former Shank Tank cast member Kevin Harrington, according to a release.

With Harrington on board, co-founders Jennifer and Tony Bahu have plans to grow Yonutz from its current two locations in Sunrise, Florida lland Las Vegas to more than 20 nationwide, including two in the Houston area. To prepare for the expansion, Yonutz has updated its branding and will equip stores with Instagrammable elements such as neon signs and custom murals.

“Our goal with this rebrand and franchising is to expand upon the fun and innovative Yonutz brand,” Tony Bahu said in a statement. “With our elaborate desserts, immersive ambiance, colorful packaging and outstanding customer service, we will continue to provide a fantastical experience to dessert lovers everywhere and allow fans all over the United States to partake in the Yonutz experience.”

Smashed doughnuts are at the heart of the Yonutz experience, but the menu also includes conventional, non-ice cream filled doughnuts as well as milkshakes. A "secret menu" — available to anyone who joins the company's free VIP club — offers even more choices.

“By creating such an innovative and immersive experience, guests from all over the country will finally get to indulge in our one-of-a-kind products, like the Smash Donut, that truly sets us apart,” added Jennifer Bahu. “We are so thrilled to be able to share our excitement and fantastical desserts with new customers.”

Edgy Portland doughnut chain sweetens up northwest Houston with new location

that voodoo that they do

One of America's most well known doughnut shops will open its third Houston-area location next week. Voodoo Doughnut will open the doors to its new Cypress location on Tuesday, May 3.

Located in a former Slim Chickens at 9320 Barker Cypress Rd., the new Voodoo features New Orleans-style chandeliers, murals by a local artist, and a see-through production kitchen, according to a release. Its drive-thru will be open 24 hours a day.

Voodoo Doughnut has earned wide acclaim for its creative doughnuts such as the signature Voodoo Doll with raspberry jelly filling and the Diablos Rex with a vanilla frost pentagram. Some of its more scandalous offerings include the Maple Blazer Blunt and the Cock-N-Balls doughnuts, both of which are shaped to resemble their names.

The cult favorite doughnut shop made its Houston debut in 2020 with a location on Washington Avenue. A Montrose outpost opened on lower Westheimer last year.

“What makes the growth the most exciting is the ability to hire 70 folks from the local community and providing competitive wages, affordable health care and liberal PTO, in an environment where no nametags or uniforms are required. Our teams are as unique as our doughnuts,” Voodoo CEO Chris Schultz said in a statement.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Affluent Houston 'burb's big holiday spending leads week's top stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Affluent Houston suburb leads region for highest holiday spending budgets in U.S. Sugar Land has the nation's 15th highest average holiday budget, a study reports.

2. City of Houston announces boil notice updates, timeline, and important tips. The boil water notice prompted school closures and generally disrupted life around Houston.

3. Disney's Strange World is a visual stunner with too many story ideas. It's one of Disney's "less successful films," our critic opines.

4. New sushi restaurant by Hidden Omakase opens in Rice Village with affordable, 30-minute meals. The new restaurant offers an expedited version of Hidden Omakase's premium tasting menu.

5. Innovative, gluten-free Montrose restaurant returns with new breads and pastries, coffees, and hours. The yearlong closure allowed the restaurant to give customers more of what they want.

Luxe plastic surgery center injects River Oaks with cutting-edge techniques, posh recovery suites, secret access, and more

A-list treatment

With the holiday season in full swing and many prepping for a new look for the new year, image-conscious Houstonians have a new option for cutting-edge cosmetic treatments and plastic surgery in one of Houston’s most elite neighborhoods.

Nuveau Plastic Surgery + Medical Aesthetics, a local leader in cosmetic medical procedures, has quietly opened a sleek new facility in River Oaks (3720 Westheimer Rd.). Owned and operated by renowned (and board-certified) plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Lee, the facility offers myriad reconstructive surgeries for men, women, and children, as well as beauty treatments, touch-ups, and more.

Aside from top-of-the-line technology, instrumentation, and treatments, the boutique center has personalized service and features to the tony RO crowd. A secret entrance ensures privacy for discreet clients, much like similar operations in Los Angeles and New York.

Another top-drawer feature: Tastefully appointed pre-op and post-op suites keep patients in-house, rather than having to leave posh treatment centers and head to crowded hospital rooms for recovery.

In keeping with Lee’s insistence on a medicine-first approach, anesthesia for patients is provided by Medical Anesthesia Associates, an MD-only group.

A cut above

Notably, the center places a primary focus on plastic surgery, which, for the uninitiated, has a clear distinction from cosmetic surgery. Randy Rakes, managing partner, tells CultureMap that it’s important for clients to understand the difference.

“You have to understand, you have to go through hundreds of hours of training and cases — face and the entire body — to get that board certification, and go through rigorous testing in order to meet that specification,” he says.

Why is that important? The industry, Rakes notes, is rife with practitioners such as “OBGYNs or dermatologists or people who have not really been trained in the art of plastic surgery, who take a class somewhere and learn how to do liposuction or a fat transfer — and then they're ‘experts’ in aesthetic surgery.”

That’s especially key when selecting a provider for highly invasive — and potentially serious — procedures such as facelifts, eyelid surgeries, tummy tucks, liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast lifts and augmentations, breast reconstruction, and more, Rakes adds.

In an era of Instagram beauty demands, more choosy clients are opting for streamlining facial features. To that end, Lee is one of a select few surgeons in the U.S. who regularly performs “V-Line '' surgery. The set of procedures, popularized in South Korea where Lee honed many of his skills, aim to narrow the width of the jawline and the face.

Aesthetics with an expert eye

Lee’s elegant, 5,500-square-foot center is adorned with CASA Houston designs, Italian-influenced finishes, and soothing elements evocative of a modern art museum or luxury spa. The facility houses a Visia Skin Analysis Studio and seven treatment suites aesthetic work such as Botox, microneedling, VI peels, Halo Laser Resurfacing, Moxi Non-Ablative Laser, Broad Band Light Photofacials, Coolsculpting, Emsculpt, and more.

Rakes says that his registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and estheticians are elite, by design, as he and Lee insist on credentials. “All of our injectors are licensed in the State of Texas,” he says. “Most places don't have that, the reason being is that they are much more highly skilled than a traditional, regular nurse injector. So they have a much higher skill set. The people who do our lasers and things of that nature have 10 to 15 years of experience, so clients know that they're getting the best possible treatment with the best possible devices — we own every medical device that's considered cutting edge in the industry.”

Facing forward

Rakes, a longtime medical industry processional with a keen eye for trends and technology, says that his clients aren’t just looking for traditional services, but new technologies and treatment, such as PRP and other regenerative therapies. “I think patients are kind of moving a little bit away from the traditional Hyaluronic fillers like Restylane and really looking for something with a more natural approach.”

His treatment teams stimulate collagen with fillers such as Radiesse, “and then we combine that with energy-based devices to even further lift the tissue and work as a synergy between using the injectable and the device, because the combination of both of those things give the patient the best possible results,” Rakes notes. Lee and Rakes also focus facial care on medical-grade skincare brands Alastin, Revision, and Elta MD.

A global scope

Aside from his board certification in plastic surgery, Lee has also trained in craniofacial and pediatric surgery. His medical mission work has taken him to Thailand, Haiti, and Cambodia, where he has performed surgeries for nonprofits such as Operation Smile and Smile Train for those in need.

Those in need of non-traditional treatments can also trust Lee, says Rakes, who points to Lee’s work in the cosmetic and plastic surgery-obsessed Korea. “Some of the Korean techniques are much more advanced than the techniques that are available here in the United States,” says Rakes. “Dr. Lee does a lot of things that other physicians here just don't do.”

Those interested should book early, Rakes advises, as the holiday and new year rush is in full swing. The center offers “pre-buying” slots where clients can reserve space and time. “We’ve been very busy,” says Rakes, noting the local celebs who’ve shared the work they’ve received there on social media. “I think people come here because they know they’re getting the very best treatment and results available.”

Photo courtesy of Nuveau PlasticSurgery + Medical Aesthetics

Nuveau's sleek River Oaks center boasts designs from CASA.

Beloved Houston urban farm toasts local culinary legend with new cooking courses and classroom


For longtime Houston food insiders, Peg Lee needs no introduction. A lifelong local culinary instructor, she has been a fixture in the food scene since the 1970s, where she (often humorously) led cooking classes at Houston Community College.

She was a no-brainer to found and direct Rice Epicurean's cooking school. And the newly launched Central Market made waves in 2001 by enticing her to launch its now wildly successful cooking school, which, thanks to Lee, has lured top national and international chefs and food names.

Along the way, Lee mentored now well-known chefs such as Robert Del Grande, Greg Martin, and Mark Cox.

Quite apropos, the Houston legend is now the namesake for a new cooking school in one of the city's most beloved urban green sanctuaries, Hope Farms. The Peg Lee Culinary Classroom in Hope Farms' Gathering Barn now hosts field trips, classes, tastings, and free cooking demonstrations for children and adults.

Locals can also book the charming space, spearheaded by Recipe for Success/Hope Farms founder Gracie Cavnar, for cooking parties and cooking classes for anywhere from four to 24 students. Those interested can find more information on classes, which center on Cavnar's passion for healthy eating, and more here.

As for the classroom, visitors can expect a white, farmhouse-style kitchen with custom cabinets and high-end appliances, all reflective of a home kitchen. Butcherblock countertops, matte black accents, and farm-made tables and more adorn the space, while a Wolf Induction cooktop, A GE Café Smart Five-in-One Wall Oven, and other state-of-the-art appliances get folks cooking.

Fittingly, classroom water is tied into the farm's new rainwater capture system for the ultimate in sustainability.

“Peg was one of my earliest mentors in the imagining and crafting of what Recipe for Success Foundation would become,” Cavnar noted in a statement. “Then, when we began programing, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work, helping us teach children to cook and bringing her many resources to help us raise money and awareness for our efforts. It is my deepest honor to pay her tribute with the naming of our classroom.”