Velvet Creme Doughnuts Coming to Calle Ocho

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It's been almost a year since Velvet Creme, an iconic Miami doughnut shop, announced its reopening after a 15-year hiatus. On September 28, Miami's first doughnut shop confirmed it is still in the process of reviving its age-old brand. But now its location will be housed at 1555 SW Eighth St. in Little Havana, a few doors down from Ball & Chain.

Robert Taylor, one of the founding partners of the revived Velvet Creme, couldn't be happier. 

"We're going to be part of the Eighth Street relaunch," Taylor says. "It's going to be a center for all iconic places. Ball & Chain has been around since the '30s, and we were founded in 1947. It's really cool to see this all be brought back in the same place."

The brand opened its first location in Little Havana in 1947 and added an outpost near the University of Miami. It had been a Magic City staple for more than 50 years, serving as Miami's first homegrown doughnut shop. A family illness, however, crippled the business in 2000. A couple of years ago, 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, and launched a food truck in early 2015. 

Last December, they were in the midst of finalizing a brick-and-mortar Velvet Creme in Little River. But in February, its signage was abruptly removed. The brand announced its location would open in downtown Miami Shores in the late spring to early summer instead. However, Velvet Creme couldn't settle on a permanent location, putting its relaunch on halt until now. 

"We were called by the developers of Eighth Street and asked if we wanted to be a part of it," Taylor says. "It's going to be a very cool place."

This is the step Velvet Creme has been waiting for, Taylor explains. Calle Ocho is a known tourist hot spot, often attracting dozens of tour buses each week. He believes the opening has been worth the wait.

"We've been at this for the last year and a half," Taylor says. "This is the best thing we've got so far. We're going to make it really close to the original store inside and outside, with the red awning and all."

The shop will offer a range of doughnuts, from traditional glazed to exotic flavors such as maple bacon and guava 'n' cheese, along with a selection of coffees and soft-serve ice cream. Patrons will also have the option of designing custom doughnuts by choosing from a range of garnishes to top Velvet Creme's warm treats.

Along with opening a storefront, Velvet Creme is in the process of franchising its food truck and finalizing details for an online purchasing system. According to Taylor, customers will be able to purchase a dozen flash-frozen doughnuts online to be shipped out a few days later.

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