At 10 a.m. on a recent Tuesday, more than a dozen customers filter in and out of Donut Bar + Coffee in Southfield. Although not a peak day or hour, the employees at this small shop are scrambling to keep up, packing boxes full of creative doughnuts with flavors like Strawberry Chantilly. Since opening in July, the family-owned shop has sold out nearly every day.
The bakery is co-owned by brother and sister team Serena and Chris Denha. Coming from a family of bakers, their natural inclination was toward treats. “We make it a thing, anytime we go on vacation, to eat a doughnut,” Serena says.
Chris, who traveled to NYC and Florida for work and Serena, who attended college in Chicago, fell in love with gourmet doughnuts like those found in other big cities. They played with the idea of opening a doughnut shop for a few years.
“There are all these awesome doughnut places all around the world, and we wanted to become one of those awesome people,” Serena says.
The doughnuts are anything but average, with signature flavors like Salted Caramel. Cereal doughnuts — covered with classic, sugary favorites such as Fruity Pebbles and milk icing — pairs well with the Illy coffee. Priced at $2-3 each, the doughnuts are sized to share — or not.
The batter is a tweaked version of a Polish doughnut, making them dense and not overly sweet, like a paczki without the filling. Instead, they’re piled high with a variety of glazes and toppings. The shop also features decadent daily specials like a banana, graham cracker, and walnut doughnut, topped with a caramel drizzle.
For those who like to live on the mild side, the traditional glazed is just as satisfying as its eccentric brethren. Regardless of preference, you’ll want to get there early. Once the shop sells out, there’s no more until the following morning.
Donut Bar + Coffee, 29039 Southfield Rd., Southfield; 248-595-8212. Open Tues.-Sun. donutbardetroit.com