Small with stark white walls, it’s the display of doughnuts that captures the attention of customers that make their way into the Glazed Doughnut Shop, a new bakery that opened up three weeks ago on the corner of the Amherst Carriage Shops.
While the walls are plain, the doughnuts are anything but. Co-owners Keren and Nick Rhodes have created approximately 50 original, unique flavors of which they make 20 or 30 a day.
It’s “whatever we feel like,” said Nick Rhodes with a chuckle.
While the menu varies from day to day, a few bestselling flavors – such as apple fritters, maple-bacon and chai tea glazed – make the menu every day.
And the Rhodes aren’t afraid to let their customers in on the creative process. In fact, they encourage it, and are considering creating a suggestion box in the store for customers to pitch their ideas.
Recently, a customer came is with a craving for a cinnamon chili doughnut, a desire the shop was happy to satisfy.
“That’s the idea: what kind of doughnut can you imagine and can we make it?” said Keren Rhodes.
Despite the name, the shop isn’t limited to just doughnuts. The Glazed Doughnut Shop also dishes out fresh cakes, pastries, breads and cookies, including some gluten-free products for customers, such as Keren Rhode’s father.
“We make a lot of things out of the doughnut dough. So we take the doughnut dough and put it in a loaf pan, and it turns into a bread. And it’s fantastic,” said Keren Rhodes.
Keren Rhodes is looking to add more treats to the menu, such as challah, a Jewish braided dough. They also hope to add a coffee bar at some point.
The shop currently has four student employees.
The Rhodes are not new to the doughnut business. For three years, the couple owned and ran The Mini Donut Factory in the Holyoke Mall and before that they owned one at the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, Conn.
But the two of them were pining for something a little more creative than small mall doughnuts, so they decided to take their recipes to Amherst.
“It seems like the kind of town that should have one,” said Keren Rhodes.
Both of the Rhodes graduated from Amherst High School, and said they thought that the “receptive” community and student base would make town the right place for their small business.
“We thought this was the right town when we started looking for a location to allow us to be as creative as we wanted to be, and be who we are,” said Keren Rhodes.
After Keren Rhodes left medical school to become a midwife and then left midwifing to take care of their two young children, the Rhodes needed something to support them financially.
“We had to find another way to make money for our lives and do something we love, and so we ended up here,” said Keren Rhodes.
Right now, the couple is working to establish themselves in the Valley. The store has started to work in collaboration with Esselon Coffee of Hadley and Lefty’s Brewing Company in Greenfield. Keren and Nick Rhodes use some of the products from those businesses as ingredients when baking.
The Rhodes donate the extras from their creations to a local homeless shelter, and local companies take the excess shortening off of their hands for a small price.
The couple said that things have been going well for the store so far.
“The way things are turning out, we’re very optimistic,” said Nick Rhodes.
Danielle Kodess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Katie Landeck can be reached at email@example.com. Chelsie Field contributed to this article.