The San Francisco based food truck transitions to a brick-and-mortar shop
Johnny Doughnuts will transition from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar shop soon.
Inside Scoop SF reports that Johnny Doughnuts is turning its attention to a brick-and-mortar store.
The San Francisco based food truck is known for making all-natural doughnuts with fresh local ingredients. Now, it is setting its sights on a brick-and-mortar shop in the downtown/West End of San Francisco.
The doughnuts currently being sold at the truck aren’t your average doughnuts. There are classics like vanilla and an old-fashioned doughnut made with potatoes for extra moisture. In addition, though, owners Craig Blum and Jeremy Moran also create handmade doughnuts in interesting flavors such as smoked chocolate bourbon sea salt, pistachio hibiscus, cinnamon twist, and lemon mascarpone filled.
In addition to street sales and special events, Johnny Doughnuts also caters to tech companies such as Apple and AirBnB.
There is no official opening date for the store, but Blum hopes it will be any day now.
To check for updates about the store visit the Facebook page.
Hero Doughnuts finds a permanent home, plans to open shop later this year
Hero Doughnuts, which began selling its brioche-style doughnuts at pop-up events around Birmingham just over a year ago, has found a home.
The doughnut business started by chef Wil Drake and his business partner Jason Wallis will open its first brick-and-mortar shop in the former Homewood Musical Instrument Co. space at 3207 Central Ave. in Homewood.
"I love Homewood," Drake said in an interview with AL.com today. "I used to live there, but I never thought it would be a possibility to move there because real estate is kind of hard to come by there over there. But it happened, so here we are."
Drake and Wallis launched their business in March 2016 at a pop-up at Seasick Records in Crestwood, and they immediately began looking at locations in Crestwood, Avondale and Lakeview before discovering the ideal spot in Homewood.
The Central Avenue location became available when Homewood Musical Instrument Co., owned by Robert Tedrow, and Burns String Instrument Repair, owned by J.R. Burns, moved into a new space at 1712 28th Ave. in Homewood this past fall.
"Because of Homewood Musical Instrument Co. and Nabeel's (Cafe & Market), this corner of Homewood has been well-loved for several decades, so we consider it an honor to bring our doughnuts to this corner," Wallis said.
Hero Doughnuts prepares its doughnuts using a brioche dough, which has a high egg and butter content to give them a rich but light texture. Hero uses organic, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
"From the beginning, we tested tons of recipes," Drake said. "The one we landed on is essentially a brioche dough. It's a basic dough, but it's heavily enriched with fat, which makes it a tender dough. We have a lot of eggs and a lot of butter."
Some of the current flavors include lemon curd, caramel custard, maple sea salt, whiskey sorghum and blood orange.
The Homewood shop will offer a selection of about a dozen different doughnuts daily, as well as apple fritters and cinnamon buns, Drake said.
"We will also have breakfast sandwiches," he said. "We will make the bread in-house, and we are planning on doing our version of a Chick-fil-A biscuit, but on a bun. So we'll have fried chicken for breakfast and lunch."
The breakfast menu also will include egg sandwiches with sausage or bacon, as well as espresso and coffee.
The shop will offer seating for about 15 to 20 guests, Drake said, and it will feature a glassed-in kitchen so that guests may watch as the doughnuts are prepared.
"Growing up in South Georgia, that was my favorite thing to do was to go to Krispy Kreme and see the doughnuts on the conveyor belt and see the action," Drake said. "I want people to see the action that goes on in Hero. People can view from the inside dining area and from the street."
The doughnut shop will be open seven days a week, Drake said, and the hours will be from early morning until late afternoon.
Until the shop opens, Hero Doughnuts will be available at all three Birmingham-area locations of Revelator Coffee, as well as at the Market at Pepper Place on Saturdays and at Big Bad Breakfast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Drake also plans to host a few pop-ups in front of the future Homewood location.
We, Constance and Jonathan Farro, are fondly known as Conny and Jonny behind Conny and Jonny Doughnuts. We have always been obsessed with doughnuts. In the same way that couples have a song, we had doughnuts. It may sound silly, but doughnuts are a big part of our love story and our connection. We’ve dreamt of owning our own doughnut business for years before it became a reality. We shared this dream with anyone and everyone who would listen to us because we quite literally could not hold it in or stop talking about it. Support and encouragement came in many different forms: Friends and family members would ask us to make doughnuts for special events, we would have doughnut nights where our friends would come over and taste test our creations, we would randomly receive ingredients like vanilla bean paste as a gift (thank you Lila Dobbins), and we were even gifted our very first at home deep fryer by Stephanie and Isaac Meek.
OUR BIG DEBUT
Five years ago on November 1, 2014, we launched Nashville’s very first croissant doughnut, what we called a “Doughsant” and they were sold exclusively at Pinewood Social. We had experimented with different kinds of doughnuts, but after a trip to NYC and tasting Dominique Ansel’s Cronut, we decided to make our own version and introduce Nashville to a super unique pastry that was only available in NY and LA at the time. To be honest, back then, we had no idea what we were doing. Conny had just moved to Nashville a few months before, we both had full time jobs and on weekends we would make croissant doughnuts in Conny’s duplex kitchen using our little deep fryer, which only allowed us to fry two doughsants at a time, to sell at Pinewood Social. The attraction to our doughsants was instant and we couldn’t keep up with the demand. In short, we quickly realized we were in over our heads and made the hard decision to lay our business down after two months to take time to perfect and refine our skills. We truly value excellence and we thought, if we are really going to do this and make our dream a reality, we want to do it really well. Over the past five years, we got engaged a little over a month after we put a pause on our business, got married four months later (on National Doughnut Day), then six months into our marriage we moved back to California (where Conny is originally from) to attend pastry school, while in pastry school we worked together at one of our favorite doughnut shops in LA, Sidecar Doughnuts, we got pregnant nine months into our marriage, moved back to Nashville (where Jonny is originally from) and had our first baby (now we have two children), attended a doughnut specific school and from there created our very own original recipes.
WHAT WE DO NOW
We still love cronuts and think there are so many amazing different versions available all across the nation, but we discovered our passion in real doughnuts, specifically, traditional yeast raised and cake doughnuts for our business instead of continuing on with the doughsant. On September 21, 2018, we officially re-launched our business making our doughnuts available at all Barista Parlor locations around Nashville, TN, seven days a week. A big part of our dream has been to provide Nashville with the best doughnut experience we can offer and for Nashville to experience the same love and connection we have experienced through our doughnuts.
Every recipe from our dough to the glaze is always made 100% from scratch by hand. Our doughnuts are a labor of love, completely original and made fresh every day making our doughnuts a one of a kind experience in every way. We will have a brick and mortar one day, but for the time being, Conny and Jonny Doughnuts is a wholesale business that operates on weekends only. Get to any of these locations early if you want to experience the best doughnuts in Nashville. We can be found at the following locations in Nashville, TN and surrounding cities: Bagelshop, Barista Parlor (East), Barista Parlor (Germantown), Barista Parlor (Golden Sound), Black Press (Gallatin), Black Press (Hendersonville), Black Press (Long Hollow), Cafe Roze, Crema - Hermitage, Crema - Duke St, Curio (Franklin), Living Waters, The Loading Dock, Oh My Chives (Nolensville), The Rose Pony, Stay Golden, Tempo.
Doughnuts in Alaska vary from grocery-store-bought (Gee, thanks for bringing those to the office, Chad!) to the new chain store that just opened in Anchorage, to the mom-and-pop places. But there is only one place I know of that’s doing them guerilla artisan style and that’s Gigi’s in Homer, Alaska. They only sell at the farmers’ markets and during the summer the doughnuts are made to order. That’s right: made-to-order. They have a classic glazed or you can get all karate and go dessert style like the chunky monkey (fresh banana, peanut butter chips and honey) or a s’mores style. You can also add your own toppings. Did I mention they are MADE TO ORDER? At a farmers’ market? It’s insanely good. —Erik Slater, chef/owner, Seward Brewery
Conny & Jonny Doughnuts
One local duo’s love story brings traditional pastries to Nashville.
Owning a doughnut business was always in the cards for Constance and Jonathan Farro, co-founders of Conny & Jonny Doughnuts. For seven months, the couple bridged the gap in their long-distance relationship with a mutual love of the ringed confection.
“I was in California and he lived here,” Constance explains. “If I missed him, I’d go get a doughnut and send him a picture and he would do the same. It just kind of became our thing.”
Some couples have songs that bring them together—these two had delicious pastries. “Doughnuts were our mixtape,” Jonathan adds. The two even tied the knot on National Doughnut Day.
The couple’s doughnut-centric love story is a whirlwind. Constance made the move to Nashville in 2014, and, eager to start a new business, the couple naturally started experimenting with doughnuts. They wanted to bring a croissant-like doughnut to the Nashville market and began testing recipes in Constance’s duplex kitchen. They then dove onto the scene, slinging what they called “doughsants” at Pinewood Social on the weekends—but quickly, they realized they were in over their heads with the fledgling business.
Six months later, the newlyweds headed back to California.
“Jonathan and I both value excellence, so we decided if we would really do this we would do it well,” Constance says.
They enrolled in pastry school together in L.A., and worked at a doughnut shop on the side. Soon, they were back in Nashville and saw a need for more of the kind of traditional, yeast-raised doughnuts that they liked to make. Conny & Jonny Doughnuts was back in business in September 2018, serving up handcrafted yeast doughnuts at all Barista Parlor locations.
Conny & Jonny’s slogan, “Every Batch, Fresh from Scratch,” rings true. Working from a rented catering kitchen, the pair starts the process on Wednesdays, prepping glazes and toppings. Jonathan then works overnight leading up to and on the weekends, mixing the yeast-enhanced dough from scratch, before leaving it to rise. The doughnuts are then fried and glazed, and then hurried out to coffee shops before the morning rush. Jonathan’s delivery car, a Scion xD, is expertly outfitted to transport 700 doughnuts at a time.
As for flavors, the couple doesn’t dabble in trends. Instead, they aim to hit a note of nostalgia, asking themselves what tastes good at the moment. They use seasonal and local ingredients when they can, like peaches from The Peach Truck, strawberries from a farm in Clarksville, and mint from a friend’s garden.
“We sell two flavors to each coffee shop and have found that people get bored if we always have the same flavors, so we switch [things up] every two weeks or so,” Jonathan explains.
While the pair enjoys selling wholesale, a brick-and-mortar (or possibly, more than one) is on the horizon. Until then, you can nab one of their time-intensive creations on Fridays at Bode Hotel and Industrious Nashville Gulch Fridays through Sundays at Crema, The Loading Dock East, Tempo, and Living Waters Brewing and Saturdays and Sundays at all Barista Parlor locations. Get there early—wherever they are, they sell out fast.
What to Eat in Birmingham
Exactly one year today I (Editor E) was on a plane back from Portland, where I had spent a long weekend doing many things, including sampling PDX’s finest doughnuts. They’re really into doughnuts in Stumptown, and coffee too (see name), and during the trip I took a fascinating Third Wave Coffee Tour, which featured pairings of sweet circular treats and the city’s famous coffee.
Sitting down at the newly opened Hero Doughnuts in Homewood, I was struck by the similarities in the offerings here to what I experienced last year. And, judging by the looks of the lines out the door, Birmingham is more than ready for this brick and mortar destination
The new shop is located in the former Homewood Musical Instrument Co and across from Homewood Central Park. There’s plenty of parking, but they also get walk-in traffic from the surrounding neighborhoods.
Hero Doughnuts opened on Halloween. But they had already built up a huge fan base at pop ups like the one at Seasick, as well as Revelator Coffee, Pepper Place Market, and Big Bad Breakfast. (We wrote about them last year in this post, after a March 2016 popup at Seasick.)
The first thing you’ll notice walking up is that you can see the staff making treats through a large glass window. Co-owner Wil Drake (his business partner is Jason Wallis) has worked for more than a year to perfect their brioche style doughnuts. Heavy on eggs and butter, the dough is also used to make their breakfast sandwiches.
The actual dining space holds a few small tables and one long communal table.
Order from the counter, where doughnuts of the day are on display. If you’ve been following them on Instagram you will be alerted to when flavors sell out for the day. It happens. So if you see one you want, snag it quickly.
Among the dozen or so flavors during our recent visit: maple sea salt, pistachio, lemon cardamom, and cream filled. “Sidekicks,” aka doughnut holes, are served in plastic cup and seem to be a favorite among the kids.
Below are Pink Sprinkles and Pumpkin Brown Butter doughnuts. The Pink Sprinkles got thumbs up from a dining partner and Pumpkin Brown Butter met the seal approval from yours truly. (So. Much. Doughnut!)
As mentioned previously, Hero Doughuts also offers sandwiches. Made with Fatback sausage and bacon and McEwen & Sons Farm eggs, they are served with pepper jam and mayo based “crack sauce,” and a great option if you’re in the mood for a little more savory and a little less sweet. (Though the bun offers a perfect degree of sweetness to balance out the spiciness of the sauces.)
During our visits, we sat at the communal table, which provided for some prime people watching. On a recent Sunday morning we noted that SpongeBob was on the television (props from Foodie Jr.) and Slowdive was on the speakers, which is a good representation of the Hero Doughnuts vibe.
It’s sort of a sleepy dads wiping their kiddos’ fingers meets people in workout clothes kind of place. And one dude on a laptop. (Though it should be noted: we visited one day school was out of session and another time on a Sunday, so the weekday clientele might be different.)
The doughnuts are good — almost too big to finish yourself. Our suggestion is to get a few and split them. Throw in a cinnamon roll, as we did.
They are huge and good and we dare you not to leave with sugar in your hair, as Foodie Jr. did. “Those rolls … they are as big as my face,” he said. Um, salad for the rest of the day!
With locally roasted Domestique Coffee and Harvest Roots Kombucha, plus Topo Chico, the beverages are on point. We’ve yet to try Hero Doughnut’s fronut — their sugared doughnut filled with frozen custard.
But we’re sold on this place. And we’re not alone. Lines have been out the door during the weekends. Don’t let that discourage you — service is quick. And even if you can’t snag a seat inside, you can pop over to the park. It’s worth it: these are nice people using beautiful ingredients to make this slice of Birmingham a better place. They love what they do, and it’s evident in their enthusiasm and with each bite. So be patient if you have to wait a bit.
We’ve long said that Birmingham can handle more doughnut options, and we’re happy to see what the Hero team has done.
And who knows … maybe soon the Magic City, like Portland, will have doughnut tours of its own?
Get Out of the Box With a Food Truck
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In the convenience retailing world, brick-and-mortar stores are the ideal way to build a business and brand. A permanent location provides products and services, and everyone knows where the store is all the time.
But real estate and construction are expensive propositions, especially when seeking permanent locations that offer high traffic and the right demographics.
So how else can a retailer further its potential without the high cost of another brick-and-mortar site? How can it grow sales and attract more people to its brand without increasing advertising airtime or leasing more billboard space? The answer: a food truck.
The old “roach coach” stereotype of food trucks has been replaced with credible menus and service that draw large crowds. For example, I have owned Chef Bob’s Lobstah Trap food truck in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 2017. It specializes in authentic New England recipes using lobster from Maine and Nova Scotia. Our sales have increased every year, and in 2019 we saw a 33% increase.
There are two main areas in which a food truck can help a brand. First, it will allow a retailer to take its brand where the action is: school events, sporting events, church events, business campuses, factories, warehouses, festivals, flea markets and other places that attract people. Having a presence at these events gets people to look at a retail brand in another way.
Second, for those who already patronize brick-and-mortar sites, the food truck will offer something familiar in a completely different situation and increase allegiance to the brand. A retailer’s regulars are its best advertising. Those who are too busy to stop in or don’t frequent c-stores can now see the operation and perhaps as a result become a regular at the brick-and-mortar store. They won’t lose time stopping in just to check it out they can stop by the food truck while they’re at an event.
Sometimes all people need is that one visit to make them feel comfortable.
The other way a food truck can help extend a business is to set up the truck at the store while it’s undergoing renovations or during construction.
Let’s face it: When a store closes for renovation, even for only a few weeks, it gives people the opportunity to check out the competition, and that may result in lost sales down the road if they find something else they like. Having a food truck on the lot will keep people coming and reduce the risk of losing business to someone else. And sometimes people will stop just out of curiosity, giving the retailer an opportunity to start a relationship with a new customer.
Meanwhile, a food truck will allow team members to continue fostering their current relationships with customers and even give them something new to talk about. Everyone has a favorite customer or employee, so this is a way to keep that important relationship going.
Of course, the store brand can be emblazoned on the truck so people will know whom it belongs to. The food truck can be outfitted to serve almost any foodservice item offered in the store, depending on the size of the vehicle. Coffee, hot and cold sandwiches, doughnuts, snacks and soft drinks can be easily prepared, served and merchandised.
A retailer can also sell cigarettes and other items that drive people to the brick-and-mortar location.
Incorporating a food truck into a current, traditional marketing strategy and budget could greatly grow a retailer’s reach and extend its brand and business. In coming months, I’ll write about how to get started with a food truck and make the most of the effort. It’s time to step out of the box.
Bob Derian is president of Chefbobco LLC. Reach him at [email protected]
Doughnuts themselves are a force for all that's good in life - a symbol. Our doughnuts have personality they're inspired by the seasons, local ingredients, and are steeped in doughnut history. We love them, you love them and we love making them this is all a very good thing for everyone.
It's not overly complicated but we take it seriously - but not so serious that we don't have fun. Sourced locally out of the freshest ingredients we can find and lovingly hand made every day. We serve them fresh with hand crafted coffees and a smile. With our first brick and mortar in San Rafael, we were so excited to open our 2nd location in Hayes Valley, SF! Stop on by and enjoy a hand crafted, uncomplicated nugget of happiness. Live in the moment, and make those moments count.
In addition to serving in one of our storefronts in the Bay Area, we have a fleet of our Food Trucks, which are ready, willing, and able to provide fresh delicious doughnuts, brewed coffee and espresso right off the truck. If you're interested in how all of this deliciousness came to be, just reach out to one of our enthusiasts for more information. we look forward to serving you.
Johnny Doughnuts Goes Brick-and-Mortar - Recipes
By Eva France // November 23, 2020
Destined Indulgence Cakery & Confectionary, a cottage law bakery specialized in themed cakes and other sweet treats, will open a brick-and-mortar at 11977 St. Charles Rock Road in Bridgeton in February. Owner Destiney Jones is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to secure funds to cover extra expenses incurred to ensure safety regarding Covid regulations.
Jones started baking in 2017 when she couldn’t find unique cakes for her kids at grocery store bakeries. She began baking cakes for friends and family and the concept took off. “At first, I was doing just one cake a week,” said Jones, “but then I started doing more and more, and I thought I should come up with a name for this.” Jones took classes and got certified as a pastry chef. “It was a lot of YouTube University,” she said.
In late 2017, six months into crafting themed cakes and desserts for friends and family, Jones made her business official. She started curating a clientele through her Facebook page making custom cakes and treats out of her home kitchen. “Cottage law allows for you to sell food items that are a low risk for causing sickness, like baked goods, out of your home,” she explained.
Jones said a new social media platform inspired her to seek out a brick-and-mortar. “I got on TikTok during the early part of pandemic in March,” she said. “I posted two videos and was on there for a week and got up to 20,000 followers. Now, I’m pushing 30k followers. I have a lot of online business from there, and that made me realize I need a space to be able to teach people how to make these things themselves and grow their skills.” Her username is @destinedindulgence.
The store will be more than just a place to come in and grab a sweet treat. Jones will continue to offer her custom-designed baked goods, but the location will give her space to host small events amid an open-concept design. “There will be an observing wall where you can watch myself and the other bakers at work,” said Jones. The store will be equipped with a diner-style countertop where Jones planes to host decorating classes.
At the back of the store, there is a room for private parties. Jones plans to host events and classes for families and small groups. With current Covid-19 precautions, the number of people in each group is limited to five. “I think it’s going to be really great for the Bridgeton community, especially at a time like this,” Jones said, “We can have private parties where you can just see your family and be cut off.”
Destined Indulgence will also offer options for people who are not keen on regular cake. “We do rice crispy treat ‘cakes’ and cookie cakes and cheesecake,” said Jones, adding she’s also a chocolatier. “I do basically everything but bagels and doughnuts.” She also offers holiday gift boxes with treats and wine inside.
Moving out of her home kitchen and into a retail sized space will come as a relief to Jones. “I’m struggling to keep my head above water, and I’m super fortunate to be able to say that as a small business," she said. "I’ve barely been able to keep up.”
To help fund Destined Indulgence Cakery & Confectionary, head over to the Kickstarter page. Jones is offering prizes to those who donate such as custom cakes and free cheesecake for a year.
Street food stories.
Authors of "Food Truck Road Trip: A Cookbook."
Winner, Saveur's Best Culinary Travel Blog.
Johnny Doughnuts | San Francisco Food Truck
There&rsquos a distinct moment when satisfaction topples into overindulgence. We get our hands on something we&rsquove been craving, and suddenly we&rsquore staring at a plate of crumbs, groaning and holding our hands over a belly full of five servings&rsquo worth of food. (This is actually pretty typical of any Behind the Food Carts team meeting.) There are a few admirable people out there who can enjoy a good thing and be content, but most of us barrel right over that line.
Craig Blum of Johnny Doughnuts gets it. As a purveyor of one of the more delightful food forms on the planet, he&rsquos all too familiar with overindulgence. &ldquoTo me, eating doughnuts can be like eating jelly beans for dinner,&rdquo he says. &ldquoYou&rsquore really excited to eat a doughnut and eat two, three, four doughnuts and feel sick but not satisfied. I feel like we&rsquove been able to accomplish satisfaction. You can get four doughnuts, cut them into a bunch of pieces, share them with friends, and feel totally satisfied. And you don&rsquot feel sick, because all the ingredients we use are top-notch.&rdquo
&ldquoI feel like we&rsquove been able to accomplish satisfaction.&rdquo
Top-notch and well-researched. His cool-milled flours come from a 200-year old flour mill in Utah. His produce and dairy are always locally-sourced. And the dough recipe for his raised doughnuts is based on a recipe from the early 1900s utilizing fresh potatoes, of all things. &ldquoWhat&rsquos that going to do is give you more substance,&rdquo Craig explains. &ldquoSo you&rsquore going to have a doughnut that&rsquos not just this airy kind of experience.&rdquo
An experience his customers have been clamoring for since day one. (When his brick-and-mortar launched, they sold out within three hours.) Fans line up for creative concoctions such as the CroDough, Craig&rsquos take on New York&rsquos Cronut trend. Rich vanilla pastry cream layered with his signature dough, the CroDough is a masterpiece of texture and flavor.
While definitely one of our favorites, Craig advises you get the crew&rsquos take on which of their doughnuts would best satisfy you. &ldquoAll the people that are on the truck are really knowledgeable. We get that question all the time. &lsquoWhat&rsquos the most popular? What&rsquos your favorite?&rsquo And the question back is always, &lsquoWell, what do you like?&rsquo We have 20+ varieties of doughnuts on the truck, and chances are there&rsquos going to be something on there you&rsquore going to respond to. We don&rsquot want to give you our experience, we want you to have your own experience.&rdquo
Johnny Doughnuts - San Francisco, CA
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