Wednesday, October 12, 2011
One bite. That's all it took. One delicious bite, and we were soon propelled to a place that can only be described as nirvana ... Just as long as this nirvana is decked out in red raspberries, fresh blueberries, chili chocolate icing, a spritz of mint, and the devilish combination of bacon and maple. What in heaven to earth am I talking about? I bring you the joy that is Doughbot Donuts.
Founded through their fascination of donuts and robots (the relationship is obvious, right?), the husband and wife team of Bryan Widener and Dannah O'Donnell recently opened their first storefront location in midtown Sacramento to crowds of adoring fans who already knew about them via Twitter and Facebook, the very platforms that have gotten many small business ventures like gourmet food trucks off to sustaining starts. This was certainly a far cry from their modest beginnings in May 2010, when they were only making a few dozen donuts in their home kitchen. Back then, experimentation was the name of the game.
As O'Donnell noted in a recent article in the Sacramento Press, “Everything we do is a team effort. I'll occasionally come up with an idea, and Bryan will create the recipes. It's truly trial and error, but everything we have tried has been okay. It has not been too outrageous.”
They currently have over 20 varieties of donuts in their arsenal, including vegan varieties. All are made from scratch, meaning that you won't find anything packaged or premade like that of most donut shops. Among the most popular are the bacon and maple donut, the apple and bacon fritter, the dulce de leche, the chai glaze donut, the PB&J, the mint chocolate donut, and "The Dude," a white Russian Bavarian cream-filled delight with a vodka Kahlua glaze. And as I understand it, they're currently working out a s'mores donut that echoes the days of childhood campfires and ghost stories.
But why donuts, especially given Widener's background and training? He's paid his dues having graduated in 2006 from the Institute of Technology’s culinary school in Roseville. He also made the rounds at such well-established eateries as Streamers Cafe, Magpie, Fat City Cafe, and Enotria. For O'Donnell, there was more than just unwavering support. There was a need to help find a niche that felt comfortable enough to be creative and innovative. Their breakthrough came after sampling VooDoo Donuts' bacon maple bar. From that moment on, the couple vowed "to dedicate their free time to making the best damned donut possible."
Looking back now, Doughbot Donuts seemed destined to happen. The proof is in the couple's own personal history when they were just kids. As fate would have it, Widener's mom used to treat him and his brother to a box of donuts on weekends from Marie's on Freeport. O'Donnell's grandfather would bring her a donut every time he picked her up from school. With memories like these, it's without wonder that they found each other, fell in love, and began creating something truly special.
“Our future goals would probably include, first off, getting a bathroom for our customers," Widener later noted to the Sacramento Press. "Eventually, (we hope to expand) so that we can stay open twenty-four hours."
Twenty-four hours of Doughbot Donuts? Looks like the path to nirvana will be getting even sweeter.
2226 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95818