Despite the popularity of donut shop chains like Dunkin’ Donuts, there are plenty of successful donut shops that are thriving in today’s market. In fact, artisan donut shops, which offer specialty confections like cereal or bacon covered donuts, are beginning to gain more popularity in a number of different markets.
If you’re interested in breaking into the artisan donut market but need some inspiration, here are independent donut stores that are already experiencing big success.
Independent Donut Stores Making it Big
The Salty Donut
This Miami based artisan donut shop specializes in chef-made, small-batch craft donuts. Some of the flavors on the menu include maple bacon, guava + cheese and even spiked donut holes. The team makes everything in house using high quality ingredients. And The Salty Donut even features rotating coffees with different flavor profiles.
Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Doughnut Lounge offers a variety of classic donut varieties, along with signature items that come with unique toppings or ingredients. And then there are the “noduts,” which are savory menu items that include donuts along with plenty of other ingredients that make them more like a full meal than a snack. For example, the Glazed & Gravy donut features a glazed donut smothered in gravy and topped with a fried egg. The business also has a selection of cocktails for customers to pair with their donuts.
This shop that features Korean specialties like Hodduk, a dough pocket filled with melted brown sugar and other specialty ingredients, along with shaved snow, a type of frozen dessert. Based in New York City, Grace Street isn’t what you’d think of as a traditional donut shop. But the shop has lots of positive reviews from people who are rethinking the entire concept of donuts.
Featuring donuts, coffee and chicken, Federal Donuts has a few locations throughout Philadelphia. The menu includes interesting donut varieties like churro and guava poppy. Or you can even pair your donuts with a side of fried chicken or even a flavored chicken sandwich.
Peter Pan Donuts
This bakery was established in Brooklyn more than 62 years ago. Since then, the shop has cultivated a dedicated customer base and evolved into a specialty donut shop featuring menu items like French toast cake and s’mores donuts. Peter Pan Donuts also features coffee and classic doughnut and pastry flavors.
Dynamo Donut + Coffee
This San Francisco based donut and coffee shop includes specialty donut flavors like chocolate rose, black pepper glaze and lemon thyme. With locations in San Francisco’s mission and marina districts, Dynamo Donut + Coffee uses seasonal, local and organic ingredients wherever possible. And the team handmakes each batch right at the mission location.
World’s Best Donuts
In Grand Marais, Minnesota, World’s Best Donuts offers a variety of cake donuts in different flavors, including the classics and special flavors like maple swirl. Started in 1969, the business also offers it’s own famous creation called the Skizzle, which is like an oversized but thin fried donut.
Bloom Bake Shop
Bloom Bake Shop is a vegan and gluten free dessert shop in Middleton, Wisconsin. The shop features donuts, cinnamon rolls, whoopee pies and even homemade pop tarts, along with a selection of biscuit sandwiches and coffee. The shop’s menu changes daily. But all selections are available in vegan and gluten free varieties.
The Morning Call Coffee Stand
For more than 140 years, The Morning Call Coffee Stand has been serving coffee and beignets, or “French market donuts” to New Orleans and the surrounding communities. Mostly known for its French drip coffee, the business has also amassed a large following of pastry fans who enjoy a different take on donuts.
Union Square Donuts
Union Square Donuts is a shop that specializes in handmade donuts in Somerville, Massachusetts. The shop offers premium donut flavors like maple bacon and brown butter hazlenut crunch, along with some classic flavors and even vegan varieties.
The Donut Man
Located in Glendora, California, The Donut Man features gourmet menu items like its gourmet cream cheese and raspberry topped donuts and orange frosted cake donuts. The shop also features seasonal flavors like fresh strawberry and pumpkin.
Since 1956, the Primo family has run Primo’s Donuts in Los Angeles. Featuring menu items that include classic donut flavors along with specialty items like bacon crunch donuts and bars and devil’s food donuts. The family owned establishment makes fresh batches of donuts daily.
This Chicago based shop features specialty donut flavors like maple glazed pineapple and bacon, peanut butter cup and malted milk ball. Firecakes also sells seasonal specialties and ice cream donut sandwiches.
Box of donuts Photo via Shutterstock
Even though Dunkin Donuts still has a good grasp of the market, I still like alternative donut sellers for they offer a different taste than the rest.
Dunkin Donuts has never been good quality! I always support the independent and gave found that all that I go to, where ever I travel, are so much better than Dunkin..
It’s certainly a successful business, but I agree – it’s great to see smaller shops that are doing really creative things doing well in the market
How can this article not include Blackbird Doughnuts in Boston???
Fantastic to hear about indie businesses breaking through a crowded marketplace, identifying their niche and carving some for them.
Ooohhh I love donuts as well as my daughter. It’s our snack bonding time on weekends. Thanks for sharing the donut shops alternative.