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Made-to-Order Cream Puff Pop-Up Has Permanent Ambitions

Puffs started as a side project but is aiming for a storefront

Nine cream puffs on a round marble platter Courtesy photo

Although it began just a little over a month ago as a side project during the pandemic, dessert pop-up Puffs is on a path to expand its production and open as a permanent storefront in San Diego.

Owner Kathy Tran started Puffs when her hours were recently cut at her full-time job, after encouragement from her friends and family who have been the lucky beneficiaries of her longtime baking hobby. Tran likes to bake all kinds of treats but cream puffs are a favorite, and she was inspired to launch the pop-up after tasting a particularly good version in New York City and realizing that nothing she’d had in San Diego compared.

Overwhelmed by the response thus far, with customers finding her via word of mouth or through the Puffs accounts on Instagram and Yelp, Tran says her next move will be finding commercial kitchen space and eventually opening a small storefront where people can build their own cream puffs.

With pick-up times scheduled throughout the weekend, Tran fills each cream puff to order and recommends they be consumed within a two-hour window to be enjoyed properly. The menu changes frequently, but popular flavors include passionfruit and a tea-infused series featuring jasmine tea, Thai tea, and Earl Grey.

Cream puffs topped with gold leaf Courtesy photo

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