A new doughnut shop called Doughnut Dolly (482B 49th Street), from pop-up chef Hannah Hoffman, is on its way to the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland in mid-April. Hoffman’s been slinging her "Naughty Cream"-filled doughnuts on a pop-up basis for a while, and at the new shop she’ll be doing various yeast-raised doughnuts with other custom fillings, including raspberry jam, salted Mexican chocolate, lemon curd, and seasonal specials like passion fruit curd, huckleberry curd, and tomato jam with lemon verbena sugar. As Hoffman explains, in addition to being inspired by descriptions of doughnuts friends brought back to her from London, she was a huge fan of the Doughnut Plant in New York when she was in graduate school.
"People are saying things like ‘doughnuts are the new cupcakes,’" Hoffman tells Grub Street. "But I’m so not trendy at all. I’m never tuned in to these things. I just make really yummy food and I hope that people like it."
The name for the shop stems from Doughnut Dollys, who were women who brought coffee and doughnuts to the troops during World War I. Hoffman has launched a Kickstarter campaign (watch the video below) to raise the last $12,000 she needs for opening costs. The shop will join several boutiques and a barber shop in an alley behind Pizzaiolo, in North Oakland.
Hoffman previously launched a pop-up last year called Cibo Per Strada, and the doughnuts grew out of that venture. She had intended to eventually get a food truck for her sandwiches and other items, but the thing that really got everyone’s attention were the doughnuts, so she’s running with them. In addition to cooking, Hoffman’s been a longtime employee in the East Bay wine trade, working at Vintage Wines and Solano Cellars in Berkeley.
Alas, don’t go looking for doughnuts with holes — these will all be of the filled variety. And "Naughty Cream," by the way, is just crème fraiche pastry cream. And if you want to see just how yummy her doughnuts are, find Doughnut Dolly popping up at Cosecha tonight in Oakland, from 5:30 to 9 p.m.