The Puddery, a quaint dessert shop in Pearland, Texas, reopened its doors Saturday following an unexpected closure caused by an overwhelming increase in business, sparked by a stellar review from renowned food critic Keith Lee. Turning the shop into a local hotspot, Lee's endorsement brought about the so-called 'Keith Lee Effect,' forcing the shop to shut down last Wednesday to manage the surge and replenish its supplies, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Boss Janel Prator, who found herself in urgent care after the critic's review for pulling a chest muscle due to the intensified shop activity, is back in action alongside her team. Wearing shirts emblazoned with "Keith Lee approved," they're serving up treats such as their famed banana pudding and the Keith Lee Croffle, a decadent combination of croissant and waffle, Click2Houston reported.
Lee had rated The Puddery’s signature banana pudding a noteworthy 9.2 out of 10, a review that has since garnered over 20 million views on TikTok—propelling the dessert shop's following from under 1,000 followers to over 147,000. Due to high demand, the menu has been temporarily limited to items reviewed by Lee, the Houston Chronicle notes.
"We sold out of the banana pudding within about two hours and typically we would maybe make about 30 puddings a day; now we make close to about 500 puddings," Prator told Click2Houston. Planning ahead for the throngs of sweet-toothed fans, The Puddery has begun taking orders for the next day, with many items selling out rapidly.
Despite the initial struggle of keeping up with the new-found fame, Prator expressed her gratitude for the community's support. "I’m feeling grateful, I’m feeling happy, I’m also feeling tired, but I am grateful," she remarked to Click2Houston. The shop, facing their newfound challenge, may adjust their operating hours to close on Mondays and Tuesdays, giving the staff a chance to rest and allowing for the restocking of much-needed inventory.