Dreams of dough: student Jonah Resnick balances studying with baking


Samantha Sitt

Tulane senior Jonah Resnick, an aspiring baker, ices freshly made donuts during his shift at District Donuts on Magazine Street. Resnick has been working at District Donuts for around five months, and hopes to continue baking and to one day own his own bakery.  

Jordan Figueredo, Senior Staff Reporter

He clocks in and reports to the back to read the prep list, sets up his station and begins to knead the dough. Preparing to make 1000 donuts is no easy feat, but senior Jonah Resnick does it with a smile.

Resnick works at District Donuts Sliders Brew and has found a way to turn his hobby of baking into a career. He started baking at 13 with his mom, and a pastime soon became an escape.

“I played football and baseball all my life, and baking was something that was calming in a way that sports never were,” Resnick said.

Working at District is a serious time commitment, but in the five months he has been on staff, he has learned to balance it all.

“I work here five days a week,” Resnick said. “[Sunday] I worked 4 a.m. to noon so I woke up at 3:30 a.m., came here, baked for a couple hours and my day [was] just getting started. It’s tiring, but you get into a rhythm. You can still be social and still have friend groups and go out, it’s just about figuring out what your balances are.”

Every week, managers organize shifts by the tasks that need to be done to ensure all the donuts, glazes and fillings are perfect so that no customer is disappointed.

Bakers make all of the famous donut shop’s products in large quantities, but the donuts are only fried 10 at a time, so no matter what time a customer comes in they get a fresh donut.

With a goal of minimizing waste, the quantities of donut batches shift throughout the day. Mornings begin by multiplying the recipe times 16 for each batch, meaning they are bigger and make about 200 donuts, according to Resnick.

“Even though we try to get as little waste as possible there’s always a little bit of waste and we get to take those home,” Resnick said.

Free donuts lose their appeal after a while, but that doesn’t mean a new favorite isn’t easy to find.

“The first week was a lot of tasting,” Resnick said. “They want you to know what the donuts are supposed to taste like, so the first week is just like going crazy tasting everything. The farther you go down the road you know what it tastes like and don’t need to eat it. My weakness right now is the oatmeal cookie. We run an oatmeal cream pie, and it’s unreal.”

Customers have to wait until each morning to see what donuts they will offer, but the lead baker at the Lakeview location plans a month ahead to ensure all ingredients are in stock.

The daily offerings always change since there are over 150 varieties, but the simple donuts are offered every day and consist of glazed, chocolate glazed and cinnamon sugar.

Having such a variety of flavors means a lot of change, and sometimes that results in a personal favorite having to be put aside, like Resnick’s favorite, the seven-layer donut.

“It was super good,” Resnick said. “Now we’re running a cookie butter donut which is cookie butter glaze with biscotti cookies and chocolate chip cookies with homemade Oreos on top, so that’s a really good donut, and it’s brand new.”

In the future, Resnick hopes to continue baking. District plans on opening a location in Baton Rouge, but it has not announced a date.

“I want to open up my own shop and do my own thing and have my own little mom and pop bakery store,” Resnick said. “That’s a little farther down the road, but it’s exciting.”

Being a part of the District family has been an incredibly rewarding and fun experience for Resnick.

“Working at District has given me the opportunity to learn how to be a better cook, baker and leader,” Resnick said. “I work with like-minded individuals everyday who love to experiment with different flavors and have fun. At the end of the day we are making donuts, and there aren’t many things more fun than that.”