"I think that their enduring popularity comes down to the fact that when you eat a doughnut, and I mean a good doughnut, you really wish that it hadn't ended."
A strong sign I'm probably a little too snack-obsessed is the fact I consider Instagram a news source, yet I only follow food accounts. It's a hard habit to break when you're rewarded with discoveries as dreamy as new company Little Dough Co – a pair of Wellington-based bakers serving up the most beautiful doughnuts in an array of thoughtful flavours. We asked co-owner Harrison Gyde a few questions about his new venture.
How did Little Dough Co come to be?
I have always loved making doughnuts on the side of my old job as head baker for Acme & Co at Prefab in Wellington and when a friend who runs my local Coffee Supreme cafe put the idea forward of supplying them with my doughnuts the ball started rolling.
Can you tell me about the team behind Little Dough Co?
The team consists of my partner Livia and I, myself a baker of a number of years, and Livia an eater of baking for a number of years. Between us we have the whole process covered. It involves a lot of time and work, but the end product is pretty special.
How can you tell a good doughnut from a dud?
I think that a doughnut should feel lighter than it looks. If it has a bit of weight to it then it is usually pretty tight inside, which doesn't leave a lot of room for filling.
With so many doughnuts popping up all over the show, what makes yours special?
We try to work with locally sourced ingredients as much as we can, and make everything from scratch where possible. I put a real emphasis on interesting flavours and working collaboratively with our food producers in the region to create special combos that highlight not just our products, but others too.
I think that ultimately, a light fluffy dough filled with a true creme patisserie made from scratch with a taste of something new is pretty special.
Sweet treats are always popular but there’s something about doughnuts that gets people particularly excited – why do you think this is?
Who doesn't like doughnuts? I think that their enduring popularity comes down to the fact that when you eat a doughnut, and I mean a good doughnut, you really wish that it hadn't ended.
What flavours are you offering at the moment?
We are currently running through an ever growing list of flavours, each week offering a complimenting yet opposite duo. We have had Fix & Fogg peanut butter, homemade hokey-pokey, rose-cream and plum-sugar; and this week is Hakanoa Ginger cream crunch and also a mandarin sugar number. It's pretty fun putting together flavours in a way that people can't decide between them, so probably end up getting both!
What’s the process for coming up with new flavours?
We have a pretty solid base for all of our flavours with a nice lemon zest spiked brioche, so we can pretty much go anywhere really. Some flavours are tried and tested, like vanilla cream and jam, chocolate and the like, but with the more adventurous ones we try to have a wee test session. It is important to think of the sweetness level, as we don't like to go heavy on the sugar, so tend to rely on spices like fennel and cardamom to bring out something a little unexpected.
Have you been happy with the feedback from your customers so far?
Our customers have been exceedingly supportive thus far, and I think that they are enjoying seeing what we come up with each week. It's hard to please everyone but I think we are doing an OK job!
Sounds like your treats are being snapped up pretty quickly – what sort of scale are you working on at the moment?
We currently push through around 300 doughnuts a week across 3 days. It's pretty small scale, as usually it is just myself in the kitchen making for the morning, but we like to know that each one out the door will make someone smile, and want to make sure that the production levels don't get out of hand.
What are some of your favourite Wellington spots to eat and drink?
Nikau definitely. Kelda serves up some of the best food in the city. She recently served up a collaborative dinner with another of my favorites, Tatsushi on Victoria Street, perfectly timed for my birthday this year. One of the best presents ever.
Else coffee at Customs Brew Bar on Ghuznee, and bread from Leeds Street Bakery (with a salted caramel cookie of course!)
Where can people find your doughnuts?
We are found at Customs Brew Bar Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Vic Books in Kelburn on Friday and Saturday. We have also just started office deliveries for boxes of 12 on Friday mornings delivered by our local cargo bike courier Nocar Cargo, which are available to order via email.