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andiesenji

Calif. Bay area input wanted re: specialty donut shop ideas.

9 posts in this topic

My daughter is researching the possibility of opening a doughnut shop in the Livermore area, which is somewhat of a desert for this type of shop at present.

She plans on studying the subject thoroughly before getting into it.

 

She wants to offer a variety of items that are not the ordinary type - including gluten-free, high fiber and others that have more nutritional value - as well as unusual and exotic flavors, fillings, etc.

Also SAVORY types, not just the sweets.  Fillings with meats, fish, cheeses, etc.

Possibly ice creams, depending on space available.

 

Also good coffees and teas, other drinks. 

 

She plans on contracting with an experienced baker to consult with starting the business and possibly continuing to supervise part time and also hiring students from the culinary schools in the area. 

 

This is not going to happen immediately, they will be away for a month this summer and really want to have all the points fully covered before jumping in.

 

If anyone has any suggestions or ideas please post or if you want to get in touch directly, PM me.

 

 


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I can not offer any professional experience but if she has not included Cathy Chaplin's donut reviews of West Coast donuts in her research I urge her to do so. She blogs at gastronomy.com, writes reviews for LA Weekly and is the author of a new book on eating in Los Angeles. http://gastronomyblog.com/ If you search for donuts on her site a ton of reviews pop up - she loves them and is discerning yet adventurous.

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Saveur Mag did a donut special issue last year, if your daughter wants to check it out:
http://www.saveur.com/article/hub/Donuts

In the Bay Area, the donut shop most like the one your daughter wants to open is, of course, Dynamo Donuts in SF.
http://dynamodonut.com/

The most imaginative ice cream shops in the Bay Area, IMHO, are

Bi-Rite Creamery  http://biritecreamery.com/

Ici http://www.ici-icecream.com/

Lush Gelato http://www.lushgelato.com/

Tara's Ice Cream http://www.tarasorganic.com/

The DeLise Dessert Cafe has some unusual flavor combinations in its pastries that might provide inspiration for a donut version
http://www.delisesf.com/delise%20complete%20menu.pdf

Only a partial list of Bay Area favorites, I'm sure. Perhaps their menus can give your daughter some ideas.

Your topic is a big one. Are there specific questions that you would like answered? Or specific feedback for this idea?

 

ETA: I also did a search on Tablehopper and pulled up some Bay Area buzz for the donut scene. I haven't been to any of these shops. Bespoke is new, I've heard of the other two.
Bespoke Doughnuts, Donut Savant, Doughnut Dolly.
http://www.tablehopper.com/search/?cx=007739753674880073048%3Affon6-jgxty&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=donuts+doughnuts&sa=&siteurl=tablehopper.com%2F&ref=www.bing.com%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dtablehopper%26src%3DIE-TopResult%26FORM%3DIE11TR%26conversationid%3D&ss=2752j699448j16


Edited by djyee100 (log)
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Thanks so much for the info.  We really appreciate it.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I'm bumping this up for a secondary question.

 

Does anyone have suggestions of where to go for used bakery equipment in the  Bay area or a bit further afield? 

 

How likely would you be to go to a drive-thru doughnut place  and  what about ordering on-line for  "instant" pickup on the way to work or ???


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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A word of caution about the Bay Area. It's a huge 9-county region, and people's attitudes and habits about food, how much they are willing to pay for it, and how unconventional the food may be to their tastes--all those factors differ from place to place. SF is different from Berkeley is different from Marin is different from San Jose is different from Napa is different from Livermore--if you catch my drift. I recommend that your daughter look closely at the demographics of Livermore and its immediate environs. That will give her the best picture of her potential market and whether a fancy donut shop with drive-thru will work.

 

Meanwhile, I've contacted a friend who lives and works in Livermore. If she has any feedback for your question, I'll post it here.

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From my friend who lives and works in Livermore:

 

I'm not a donut eater, so I may not be the best judge. The drive-thru donut ordering is a great idea and would work well if located near businesses on either side of town. She should definitely try to scope the competition and select a location accordingly. The donut wheel on first st is a common place I've seen people get donuts. I'd recommend checking them out and trying to improve on what they do.

 

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It might be worth checking out Golden Gate Donuts and Doughnut Dolly. They are within several blocks of each other on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. GG is traditional and well liked. DD is completely different--artisanal doughnuts are hand-pumped with filling to order. I'm not a doughnut person, but the doughnuts are fresh and the fillings are exotic; I wanted bergamot lemon cream, but it was seasonal and I just missed it. Over the top and pricey, but a new way of looking at doughnuts. Although maybe the point of doughnuts is that they are the old way.

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