Donut craze continues

Gourmet and specialty donuts have become one of the hottest trends in retail bakery in recent years. Whether it’s extravagant flavors, unusual toppings or supreme ingredients, customers flock to specialty donut shops and retail bakeries offering these delicious, decadent and desirable products.

Many successful retail shops have made a name for themselves by selling high-end donuts exclusively. Take a look at these shops and their offerings for inspiration to develop specialty donut offerings of your own.

1. Sublime Doughnuts


Sublime Doughnuts
Sublime Doughnuts in offer a variety of gourmet donuts in Atlanta and Bangkok, Thailand.

Chef Kamal Grant presents flavors and textures from around the world on the canvass of a donut. Staples that remain constant on the menu coupled with special donuts that come and go, Grant has created flavors reminiscent of childhood and those timeless favorites that will always endure. Some of Sublime’s best sellers are the Fresh Strawberry and Cream Sandwich, The A Town Mocha and A Town Cream, The Oreo Ice Cream Burger and the Maple Bacon Cheddar (Saturday only).

2. Voodoo Doughnut


Voodoo Doughnuts
Voodoo Doughnut keeps things playful when it comes to its donuts.

Voodoo Doughnut uses comedy and some theatrics in its presentation of many specialty donuts. With offerings like The Diablo Rex, a chocolate cake donut with chocolate icing, red sprinkles and chocolate chips with a vanilla pentagram, the names and recipes grab the attention of consumers.

3. Dynamo Donut + Coffee


Dynamo Donuts
Dynamo Donut and Coffee creates artisanal donuts for customers.

Dynamo Donut + Coffee creates and produces donuts that truly transcend the average donut. Sara Spearin’s experience in the kitchens of San Francisco gives her the ability to create a variety of donuts that are artisanal in nature. While on maternity leave, Spearin experimented with her first offering, and now one of the most popular on Dynamo’s menu, The Vanilla Bean Donut, which carries an intricate flavor profile of salty, sweet, sour and bitter. A little bit of spice ties all these flavors together for a robust and gourmet donut.

4. Varsity Donuts


Varsity Donuts in Manhattan, Kansas targets mostly college students with its gourmet donuts.

Kansas State University resides in “The Little Apple,” and Varsity Donuts has a made a name for itself in the small college town. The shop offers a large variety of donuts from the classics to the ultra-gourmet. A customer can purchase anything from an Otis, a raised with vanilla glaze, to a Peanut Butter Melt with peanut butter frosting and peanut butter cups on a chocolate raised. Of special interest might be the K-Stater, a raised donut with purple vanilla frosting and purple sprinkles for the students of the university that drives business.

This small sample represents only a sliver of the specialty donut shops throughout the cities of America. From coast to coast, specialty donut shops continue to spring up and gain popularity. Retail bakeries not offering some kind of interesting and high-end donut need to start.