High-end doughnut lovers in Oakland have found a new
delicious spot to cop their treats.
And these aren't your dad's doughnuts - like Oakland, the doughnuts are a diverse, delectable experience.
Donut Savant on Broadway Avenue is getting mad chatter in
the streets: There's the doughnut that's a cinnamon roll with added butter cream and toasted
pecan. Then there's the "Thai Dust," which comes with toasted coconut, fresh
ginger, kefir lime and a touch of roasted chilies. Chocolate Bomb doughnuts are
made with an Irish whiskey ganache coated with a Guinness and Bailey glaze.
Most of the doughnuts made are bite-sized balls with an Oakland-conscious price of 50 cents a piece. All are made by hand, from scratch.
Laurel Davis, the owner of Donut Savant, didn't expect to hit such a deep sweet spot since she opened her shop two and a half months ago. Davis hails from Seattle where donuts are a staple.
"I've always loved doughnuts, every since I was a kid," she said. "I remember going to doughnut shops with my dad and it was always like super-fun experience."
Davis said that when she settled in Oakland two years ago, she immediately began looking for a new doughnut shop, but found the experience unfulfilling.
"I would go around on the weekend and I could never just find a shop that was doing something unique or at least different ... it was like average coffee, average doughnuts and lotto tickets," she said.
Frustrated, Davis decided to turn to her cooking hobby to see if she could make the donuts she so craved.
"I've always loved cooking, so I just decided to make doughnuts."
Davis liked what she baked and served the doughnuts to her friends at events and brunches. She got positive reviews, which encouraged her to make more doughnuts, this time she was serving them at open art studio events.
"I just really loved it," Davis said of her baking hobby. "And I just wanted to open a doughnut shop."
For a while her doughnut dreams just floated around in the back of her mind. Then while surfing Craigslist for doughnut-making equipment, she spotted her future. A doughnut shop was for sale.
The medium-sized space on Broadway was closing up so Davis decided to step up. She quit her corporate job as a marketing developer for Comcast and tied on her apron. Almost immediately, Donut Savant blew up.
"The first day, I think I made 150 doughnuts," she remembers. "Now, we are doing around 700 doughnuts a day. It's been crazy."
These days, Davis is on baking overload - trying to fulfill her ever-growing customer base. At this point, Davis said she doesn't even want to put out a sidewalk sign; she's just trying to keep pace with her orders. The shop has one additional worker, but Davis said she probably needs to hire two more.
"Now it's a matter of keeping up," she said.
1934 Broadway Ave in Oakland