TRAVERSE CITY — The hole in the doughnut market is filled.
Two doughnut shops opened in the Traverse City area since October, with both reporting jam-packed sales.
“We do hand out hot doughnuts on Saturday morning as they are coming out of the fryer — it doesn’t get any fresher than that,” said Anna Heiges, who, with husband Frederick, revamped an old gas station at Cass and South Airport roads and turned it into Wholly Daylight Donuts.
About two miles away sits Serious Donut Co, at 1779 A S. Garfield Ave. The doughnut shop opened this month and is the product of local entrepreneur Tom Smith. Serious offers some light-hearted takes on local hot spots including Benzie banana fritters, Northport Naughtis, Kingsley Criss-Cross, Sleeping Bear Delights, Boardman Tubers and Buckley Tractor Wheels.
“People wanted something out of the ordinary, the big, fancy food doughnut-type like you get in Portland,” said Serious General Manager Brad Franklin, adding “Baked maple long johns? Flying off the shelf. Orange juice donuts? Come on now.”
Wholly Daylight Donuts rose from Anna Heiges’ experiences trying to buy doughnuts in Traverse City on the way to her prior office job. The doughnuts she picked up at a bakery, she thought, were too expensive.
“I said, ‘You know, we need a doughnut shop that’s more reasonable,’” Heiges said. “We started doing some research and came across Daylight.”
The Tulsa, Okla., based company worked with the Heiges to find the perfect location to sell doughnuts like Smokey Johns, Toasted Coconuts, Bismarks, fritters, bear claws and Pine Cones. Wholly’s simple raised glazed are getting a lot of customer comparisons to Krispy Kremes, and the business location is convenient for motorists swinging through the busy intersection.
“It is a fantastic spot,” Anna Heiges said. “We looked at several places and really this was the best location ... as far as traffic count numbers. Location, location, location as they say.”
Franklin said business is strong. The clientele is diverse, with lots of healthy people sneaking in to take a peak at the product line.
“We’ve actually had some requests for some health doughnuts,” he said. “In all honesty we get a lot of petite people in buying a half dozen doughnuts, saying ‘Shhhhh, don’t tell my husband.’”