above: So Fresh’s fun-sized treats make a perfect brunch bite
Picture this: It’s Friday in the office. Weekend itineraries are circulating in the air while your boss announces that there are doughnuts in the break room. But wait! You can’t justify eating a whole doughnut or don’t want to be the person to cut the coveted frosted blueberry in half…so you panic.
Lucky for you, a new shop on Hope Street in Stamford is ensuring you “dough-not” have to worry about that dilemma ever again. So Fresh Doughnut Co. (sofreshdoughnutco.com)—officially opened its doors next to the former State Cinema this past fall—priding itself as: “The doughnut you don’t have to share.” Its niche is gourmet mini doughnuts, made fresh-to-order and right in front of you; featuring fun, seasonal select flavors, such as Fruity Pebbler and Glazed Pumpkin, yet still paying homage to classic options, including Old-Fashioned Powdered and Chocolate Frosted.
We spoke to owners Lori Abad and Stanley Wadolowski, who share insight into their tempting treats.
What inspired this unique venture?
Lori: We were interested in opening a doughnut shop and spoke with several chains, but no one quite fit the criteria. I come from a medical background, and Stanley comes from a financial one, and we were looking for balance. Sales reps, coworkers and patients would bring delicious doughnuts to work and everyone enjoyed them, but the doughnuts were often too large. People would cut the doughnuts in half, leaving a questionable piece. Was it touched, who touched it? Our mission is to deliver a fresh, made-to-order gourmet mini doughnut, that is manageable and balanced. This allows for sampling different varieties without consuming a whole large doughnut, cutting it in half, or sharing it…if you deem so.
Stanley: We built our business on donating our gourmet mini doughnuts to many of the fine institutions that keep our cities going—fire, hospital, police. We then started a kiosk at Total Mortgage Arena, where the New York Islanders minor team plays along with events like Disney on Ice, as a proof of concept, to see how our labor of love would be received by the masses. Before long, besting our expectations, fans and patrons were saying they loved our doughnuts and that we were a driving force for attendance and a great addition. The experience of watching our doughnuts from first drop through decoration and presentation brings many customers and doughnut fans to appreciate our style of fresh, made-to-order gourmet mini doughnuts. So we moved from the arena to open our first store in Stamford.
What should customers expect?
Lori: We constructed our shop hoping to set a mood of curiosity and positivity, bringing out the inner child and to attract the attention of aficionados. Our doughnut system is at the front counter; you can watch your doughnuts drop in, flip-over and pop out. From there we transfer the doughnuts to our decorating station, where you can watch your gourmet doughnuts being dressed for a made-to-order, So Fresh presentation.
What’s the idea behind mini made-to-order doughnuts?
Stanley: Our doughnuts are not like the rest. When someone orders anything to eat, we prefer it fresh, and you can taste and feel the difference. Many similar companies only make their donuts once a day. At So Fresh Doughnut Co., we make all our doughnuts fresh.
How has it been received so far?
Stanley: We have had a great reception and are very thankful that people are enjoying So Fresh and grateful for the wonderful feedback. We have been fortunate to already have repeat customers. Word of mouth has also been fantastic. We are happy to work with schools and community groups to help a cause. We have always supported the community and will continue to do so.
Plans for the new year?
Lori: We will add different varieties and flavors as well as several more products, including packages of our own, ground by the pound and locally roasted blends of So Fresh Doughnut coffee beans. We hope to have another store open in the future as well as franchise interest.