"When my fiancée and I traveled across the country, we saw all of these amazing craft doughnut shops," Rodriguez says. "We wondered why we didn't have them in Miami. Both of us are superfoodies, so we thought it's got to be now or never. We put together a business plan, raised some money, and went all in."
The Salty Donut, the couple's artisanal doughnut and coffee bar opening at 50 NW 24th St. inside the new Wynwood Arcade building this February or March, aims to redefine a traditional doughnut-and-coffee pairing. "We're not about producing an insane volume," he says. "It's about small batches and big smiles. We produce in a much smaller quantity, but the quality is through the roof."
The couple, along with executive pastry chef Max Santiago,
Velvet Creme, an iconic Miami doughnut shop, will open a store at 8291 NE Second Ave. in Little River this February too. The eatery, previously located in Little Havana, with a second location near the University of Miami, had been a Miami staple for more than 50 years until a family illness crippled the business in 2000. Robert Taylor, along with partners Jorge Rios and daughter Krista Rios, decided to revive the beloved brand owned by Gary Hadler, Taylor's brother-in-law.
"People like to go back in time with memories," Taylor says. "The doughnut trend has been inching back the past few years, but
"It's really a great dessert. It's not as heavy as a cupcake but still just as good," Krista Rios says. "They're easy and good for any age and pretty generic, where you can do a lot with them. They can be light or gourmet. They're catered to fit just about anyone."
The folks at the Salty Donut and Velvet Creme say they will offer a range of options, from traditional glazed to exotic flavors like maple bacon and guava 'n' cheese. The Salty Donut will offer spiked doughnut holes too, with liquor reductions inspired by popular cocktails.
"Some craft doughnut shops try to go for the really crazy doughnuts," Rodriguez says. "We're kind of in the middle. We have doughnuts with a lot of things going on, but we don’t try to smash as much stuff on a doughnut just for the sake of it. If we have ingredients on it, it's because the flavors pair well."
At Velvet Creme, doughnuts will be available frozen to be shipped worldwide. "We're going to have a whole other angle that most don't, which is being able to ship overseas," Taylor says. "You'll be able to have our doughnuts in another country, and we're really excited about that."
From a personal experience at the Salty Donut to larger-scale production at Velvet Creme, 2016 looks to be a sweet year. "Coffee and doughnuts go hand-in-hand," Rodriguez says. "Everything about doughnuts
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