Lindsay Moriarty took a trip to celebrate after graduating with her second master’s degree from UNC in May 2011. Unfortunately, when she got back, she had very little money, and fewer job prospects. So she decided to do something a little bit crazy. She decided to start making doughnuts.
“I think part of me always wanted to be a pastry chef, but every time I got to a point where I could make a decision about what to do with my life, I always went for another master’s degree rather than pastry school,” Lindsay says.
She eventually put one of her master’s to use as a consultant with The Cookery, where she was given use of the kitchen for two months. “Which was just enough time to know that I could do it, and that I would actually make enough money to pay for the kitchen and pay myself and other people to help me,” she says.
“I wrote one of my master's theses on the mobile food industry, and I had already written about The Cookery and how it was an instrumental part of this growing industry,” said Lindsay. “So it’s kind of interesting that I’ve come full circle and am now a part of it.”
Monuts Donuts started on the back of an old tricycle, cooking only a few dozen doughnuts at a time in The Cookery’s kitchen. Her partner, Rob Gillespie, has always been by Lindsay’s side in the kitchen. Her father, Dan, a chef, and assistant Amelia Freeman-Lynde, who applied for the position through Twitter, now join her in The Cookery kitchen making doughnuts.
Now they make around 20 dozen doughnuts that are delivered on Fridays, and 40-50 dozen that are sold every Saturday at the Durham Farmers’ Market. Their customers can’t get enough of them.
“They’re different and they’re cakey and delicious,” says Jane Brickey, who's sure to make a Monuts pit stop whenever she's at the farmers' market.
Monuts are different than the doughnuts you are probably used to. All of the Monuts Donuts are hand-made, from the dough that is made the night before, to the glazing that happens minutes before they head out the door. The flavors are also unique, often “made up on a whim.” When I came to The Cookery kitchen, one doughnut was inspired by a fruit crumble and another by a cocktail.
“I like all the different flavor combinations,” says Amanda, enjoying a Vanilla Bourbon Peach Crumble. “They’re always really interesting, really tasty”
I was lucky enough to try all four Monuts before they sold out. The Chocolate Rainbow Chocolate is a classic doughnut flavor that was executed to perfection. The Blackberry-Gingersnap had a sweet Lyon Farm blackberry glaze that paired well with the spice from the ginger-molasses cake doughnut. The Vanilla Bourbon Peach Crumble had lovely fresh peach pieces throughout the doughnut and pie crumbles on top.
My favorite was the Dark & Stormy, which featured a chocolate cake doughnut with a rum ginger glaze, inspired by the cocktail of the same name. The fresh candied ginger topping took the doughnut to the top.
Monuts Donuts has a Twitter account that they use to share their flavors and location. Next year it will be a lot easier to find Monuts Donuts, they are moving to their own store on Parrish Street.