It was a Saturday full of errands and eating when a sudden funnel cake craving hit.
We were sure there was no place to get funnel cake this time of year, but a quick Google search proved us wrong. At the small Funnel Cake Paradise shop in southern Dallas’ Redbird Oaks shopping center, we ordered classic, funnel cakes with powdered sugar. They were so good, we went back for a more adventurous order.
According to owner Tina Owens, despite the array of options (more than 210 funnel cake combinations), the standard powdered sugar is the most popular. Owens runs the restaurant with family, including her nephew and two godsons. Her demeanor is shy and reserved, but her passion for her business oozes out despite the fact that she definitely doesn't have a sweet tooth.
So why funnel cake?
“It was a void that needed to be filled,” Owens said. “Back in 2011, we were at Hurricane Harbor, and my sister-in-law was in line waiting forever for a funnel cake. When we realized the only place you could go to get funnel cake was at a place you had to pay to get into, we went home and started working on a plan. Six months later, we started the business.”
For a little more than $4, basically half of what you’d pay at the State Fair, you can get a standard funnel cake. Toppings such as blueberry, strawberry and Oreo, a customer favorite, will run you a little more.
Owens says customers flock to Funnel Cake Paradise because its funnel cakes — despite the extra toppings — aren’t super sweet.
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“Everyone says, ‘There’s something that y’all do different with the batter,’ and it’s true,” Owens says without disclosing the secret ingredient. “We’ve become very guarded. We once had someone come in, clone our menu, and opened a funnel cake business around the corner. They’re no longer open, though.”
As the first location continues to thrive, Funnel Cake Paradise is set to open a second spot, which will be part of the Frisco Fresh Market set to open June 30.
Funnel Cake Paradise, 4353 Gannon Lane