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Connections and Coffee

Groovy Donuts Prepares for Paczki-Palooza

The Mardi Party is quickly approaching on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

However, for those not throwing beads and dancing in the streets in New Orleans this time of the year, Fat Tuesday takes on a smaller-scale level of indulgence most prominently represented by the ubiquitous box of decadent paczki that mysteriously appear in offices across the Midwest.

Groovy Donuts, the coffee and doughnut sponsor of 517 Magazine’s first Connections and Coffee networking event of 2024 coming up Feb. 29, is prepping for its ninth annual Paczki Day Celebration at the business’s two local locations, 313 W. Grand River Ave. in Williamston and 3054 E. Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing.

With 10,000 paczki made by the business in preparation for Fat Tuesday in 2023, Groovy Donuts may be set to break that total this year with several new additions to the paczki lineup, including vegan paczki and gluten-free paczki, as well as the return of the popular crème brulee paczki.

“We pride ourselves on offering a large, high-quality paczki with a lot of options for fillings and toppings,” the business stated in a new release. “We offer 10 fillings — apple, blueberry, cherry, chocolate cream, cream, cream cheese, custard, lemon, prune lekvar and raspberry — and two toppings, glaze and powdered sugar. Many who have tried our paczki have deemed them the best they have ever had.”

But what exactly are paczki — other than the odd little word that pops up at this time of year (and you’re never quite certain how to spell but know the letter “z” is in there somewhere)? Here’s a few little fun facts about paczki to help fill you up in anticipation for Fat Tuesday:

  • Known in Poland since at least the Middle Ages, the tradition of making the tasty treats on Fat Tuesday stems from the practice of using up a household’s lard, eggs, sugar and fruit before the fasting practice of Lent.
  • No, paczki are not just glorified jelly doughnuts. It would be a bit more accurate to say they’re more like jelly doughnuts on steroids. Paczki have a richer and denser dough that helps make them especially filling. There’s a reason you always toy with the idea of taking a nap under your desk on Fat Tuesday afternoon.
  • Just how rich and dense are we talking about? Buddy, there’s a reason it’s called Fat Tuesday. Paczki can individually have an average of 425 calories and 25 grams of fat. Something to consider before you stick your jelly-coated fingers back in that box. Oh, go on. It’s only one day. Treat yourself.
  • You don’t eat paczkis because paczkis is not a word. That’s right, paczki is already plural, and it basically means “package.” If you only eat one — right, like that’s ever happened — you’ve had a paczek.

As for the proper pronunciation of paczki (punch-kee, poonch-kee, pohnch-kee, etc.), that’s a beast to wrestle with at other time. Whatever the case may be, no one can pronounce it correctly with their mouth full — and to ensure your mouth is full on Fat Tuesday, reserve your paczki now.

Groovy Donuts is currently accepting paczki preorders at