Thursday, January 9, 2014

Joe's Downtown Donuts & Coffee: where the customers like big pastries

Posted By on Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 1:43 PM

click to enlarge Maria Rehard and Matt Flanagan start percolating the java and putting out trays of pastries at 5:30 a.m. in the new Joe's Downtown Donuts & Coffee, at 641 Grand.
  • Maria Rehard and Matt Flanagan start percolating the java and putting out trays of pastries at 5:30 a.m. in the new Joe's Downtown Donuts & Coffee, at 641 Grand.


There's no scale behind the counter at the four-day-old Joe's Downtown Donuts & Coffee, which was disappointing to me, anyway: The glazed apple fritters in the glass display case look as if they weigh at least a pound each. Even I draw the line at eating a pound of pastry at one sitting.

But manager Matt Flanagan says that he and Joe Sacco Jr., the general manager (and son of the business owner, the Joe Sacco of the shop's  title), have observed that many of the customers coming into the doughnut shop seem drawn to the "big stuff."

"Big doughnuts, long johns, cinnamon rolls," says Flanagan, who also oversees the Sacco-owned liquor and convenience store, Grand Slam, adjacent to Joe's Downtown Donuts & Coffee.

The Sacco family decided to turn the empty storefront space in back of the convenience store into a doughnut shop because, last year, they acquired Ray's Donuts, at 315 N.E. Vivion Road in the Northland. Ray's Donuts serves as the baking headquarters for Joe's Downtown Donuts as well.

"The doughnuts are made at night, and we get them here at 4:30 a.m.," Flanagan says.

Ray's Donuts has a reputation for those big, chunky fritters, yeasty long johns and a wide variety of cake doughnuts - many of them thickly frosted with chocolate glaze. The doors open to Joe's Downtown Donuts & Coffee every morning at 5:30 a.m. The shop is using Ronnoco coffee for both the brewed java and the cappuccino machines, which spew out a fragrant milky coffee concoction is several different flavors. 

Ray's Donuts closes each day at 3 p.m., but Flanagan says they may keep later hours during the summer months, depending on the business traffic in the store, which features free Wi-Fi.

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