Whether you spell it donut or doughnut, these little round works of art have fast been becoming a favourite of discerning foodies and donut lovers everywhere. With Melbourne having a never-ending amount of these iced, sugared and gourmet treats for some time, Geelong are now on board with Uncle Donut – a one-stop shop for doughy treats with familiar combinations and surprising twists.
The new store is operated by the owners of popular Ocean Grove cafe Uncle Jack’s, and brings glazed, dusted, fried and filled hand-crafted donut varieties to town. Ben O’Halloran, who manages the business side of the glorious deep fried project, says the idea was sparked from people travelling all the way to Melbourne to get one of these delicious desserts.
“We were just working in the kitchen at Uncle Jack’s last winter and Adrian [Augert, co-owner] was saying that his girlfriend wanted to go and get donuts that night, and we just kind of said ‘all the way to Melbourne just for a donut, surely there’s one in Geelong?’ We did a bit of research and turns out there wasn’t really anything so we thought it would be a great idea. People seem to love donuts so now they don’t have to go so far,” he says.
Soon becoming a reality very quickly, the guys sought out the central location in Little Malop Street, previously a late night takeaway joint, and began renovations in December. The store opened late February, celebrating with 500 free donuts from midday which sold out within a couple of hours, and has since been providing Geelong with daily hand-dipped, indulgent treats, selling out more often than not.
As for the menu, the flavours are set to change monthly, with the store currently operating its second menu for the year. “We’ll be changing the flavours every month so people will be excited for the change. There’s just so many different ideas you can have on a donut, so it won’t get a bit stale and boring because your product is always going to be changing.”
First, we were blessed with flavours like Nutella, Strawberry Jam, Jaffa and the exotic Dulce de Leche, before the team stepped it up with their newest and most experimental menu this month. Reinventing classic flavours and desserts, they’ve now created a Rocky Road donut, Apple Pie Cheesecake to Lemon Meringue and even a Crème Brûlée donut.
The creations don’t stop with the monthly menu though with limited creations for those special occasions and events. St Patrick’s day was celebrated with a mint green glaze, white choc pastry cream and Oreo crumbed donut, while the Easter Surprise sported a deep-fried ball of Frangelico custard, milk chocolate, hazelnut praline, topped with a kinder surprise. And we can thank two very dedicated souls for these amazing house-made delicacies, who begin early each morning to provide the freshest and most delicious donuts possible.
“Adrian is a chef and we’ve got a full-time donut chef Rene Van Schie – him and Adrian look after the recipes and the new flavours,” O’Halloran says. “It’s about a four hour process from the time that you make the dough, let it rise, fry them and then tops. So the guys get here at about 5am and the first batch is ready at about 10am. We thought you might be able to make the dough the day before and then the next day just fry it off, but it doesn’t work as well so it has to all be done that morning. They taste way better that way.”
With their changing flavours, special custom donuts and pre-orders, selling trendy merchandise, as well as teaming up with Blackman’s Brewery for Beer and Donut Wednesdays, Uncle Donut is the answer to our donut-filled prayers, with plans of donut deliveries as well.
“We’re going to get into deliveries on Sunday where you can order online. You’ll be able to order throughout the week and you can have them delivered to your house or as a present, like how people get flowers. Instead, you can get donuts delivered to your girlfriend or for a birthday, and then we’ll be potentially moving into wholesale as well down the track. It’s a good start so hopefully it continues. People love donuts.”
Located at 100 Little Malop St, Geelong, the venue is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10am until sold out.
Phone 5229 4929 or visit Uncledonut.com.au
Written by Talia Rinaldo