At the impressionable age of five, someone told me that donuts were made by mixing dough with pig snouts, so I didn’t eat them until I was about 18, after which time I felt that I’d really wasted the better part of my young life. There are lots of reasons that I should have been eating donuts: I’m American, from New England (apple cider donuts! You guys!) have a serious sweet tooth and dig carbohydrates with holes (don’t get me started on bagels). Luckily, I can now make up for lost time thanks to The Donut Shop.
Started by a group of three men – two are brothers and one a longtime friend – The Donut Shop hasn’t just done well in the city, it’s done exceptionally well. The original shop on Århusgade in Østerbro opened in June 2014. Since then, more shops have opened in Nørrebro and Indre By. In addition, they’ve opened a Donut Lab (which I imagine to have an entrance like Dexter’s Laboratory) where all recipes are tested and donuts are baked.
Delivered from the lab to all shops twice a day, the donuts are actually, truly very delicious. Given what I’ve told you about my storied past with donuts, I can’t claim to be an expert but I can tell you what I think is tasty. These are it.
Attention to detail is an important aspect of the baking. Jeremy, a trained and experienced baker, makes sure that each donut produced is up to their high standards. Their head baker, Tomasso, creates dough from scratch daily. Their icings that include fruit, such as Strawberry, Lemon and Blueberry are made with actual strawberries, lemons and blueberries! For a product that often gets downgraded to a mass-produced candy rather than a pastry, these boys have really held themselves accountable to creating a high-quality treat.
“Scandinavians want quality.” Hyper tells me. “So it was important to know our market as well as how to make excellent donuts.”
So how does one go about starting a donut shop in Copenhagen? Well, first you go to the US on a break-dancing tour. I should explain. One of the founders, Hyper, is a former dancer. While touring and performing in music videos in the US in 2004, he began a daily ritual of a coffee and donut to start every morning. When he came back to Copenhagen in 2005, he quietly returned to the donut-free life. Though he, his brother and best friend Jeremy knew they wanted to start a business together, they hadn’t yet had their ah-ha moment.
Years later, Jeremy had a donut revelation of his own in California at the well known mom-and-pop operation of Yum Yum Donuts. When the boys were all back together again, years of wanting to start a business together finally came to fruition. While having beers in Nyhavn, the answer burst forth: Donuts! This was summer of 2013. By early 2014, the first Donut Shop opened in Østerbro. Their opening was celebrated by what has now become a tradition: a day of free donuts.
While this might sound like the most laissez-faire business plan of all time, it’s worked. Creating an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment, for both themselves and their customers, has been key to the success of the shop. Now opening their fourth location in under a year, The Donut Shop is not only the sole provider of donuts in Copenhagen, they’ve created their own demand.
And the next step? Donut development. “We’re in the process of developing a vegan donut. We’re always listening to customer feedback and trying to get better,” Cody tells me.
The men at The Donut Shop clearly love their customers, so it’s no wonder that their customers love the donuts so much. If you’re feeling like a cosy treat, head to any of The Donut Shop locations in Copenhagen!
– Photos by Laia Puigdollers
The Donut Shop
2100 København Ø
2200 København N
Indre By (Inner City)
1454 København K
1300 København K
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