Doughnut lovers rejoice: Doughnut Dollies is set to open its second location in West Midtown in January. The creation of Anna and Chris Gatti, the shop made a splash in Marietta after opening its doors in 2015.
The new shop, opening at 1963 Howell Mill Road, will be 625-square-feet and feature a walk-up window for people who have placed call-in orders. This location won’t have a kitchen, so the doughnuts will be transported from the Marietta shop each day. Anna describes the spot as “teeny, tiny, but warm and inviting.”
“We’ve got a really great coffee program, and in our new location, we’re gonna be expanding our coffee program, to include all of the espresso drinks and a draft coffee station,” she says. “We’ll still be featuring Jittery Joe’s, of course.”
An empty basement below the couple’s cafe, Canvas, was the impetus for original Doughnut Dollies’s creation. The cafe had been open 11 years when they decided that something needed to be done with the extra space. Chris had spent many summers of his youth working at a shop named the Donut Hole in Destin, Florida, and suggested converting the area into a doughnut shop. Anna, who has a culinary arts degree and penchant for pastry, welcomed the chance to make “chef-driven” doughnuts.
Anna says she often looks to other desserts and favorite flavor combinations when creating her doughnuts. “How can I translate [those flavors] into a doughnut and have it still be a doughnut, yet remain true to that dish that I love?” she explains. All of their doughnuts, which come in yeast and cake varieties, are made from scratch in small batches.
The name has historical roots. The “Donut Dollies” were single female college graduates who volunteered during the Vietnam War. A program of the Red Cross, these women were tasked to help soldiers forget about the war by bringing them goodies from home. “We just loved that idea of food being the connection, which I believe in my heart as well. That’s why I love so much what I do,” Anna says. “Food [creates] that connection and camaraderie.”
The shop’s signature doughnut is appropriately named the Dollie. Made with 24-hour brioche and filled with creme brulee, it’s topped with sugar and bruleed on top, creating a crunch as you sink your teeth into the custard filling. Another flavor that’s quick to sell out is the Sweet Jane, a light brioche doughnut filled with vanilla bean buttercream, named after Anna’s sister-in-law. Coffee lovers can get a buzz from the Mikey, a Long John filled with Jittery Joe’s espresso and vanilla buttercream, topped with maple frosting and candied bacon. (“That’s breakfast right there,” Anna laughs.) During the holidays customers can preorder specially prepared themed boxes, like pie-inspired doughnuts during Thanksgiving and cake-inspired doughnuts during Christmas.
Why open a second location now? “Well to be honest, we’re just really having so much fun,” Anna says. “We’ve gotten such a great response from the Marietta location and a great following.” West Midtown made sense for their newest location thanks to easy access to I-75 and the fact that there aren’t any other gourmet doughnut shops in the immediate area.
The Gattis hope that this will be the second of many locations. Anna notes, “Chris is already scouting out more.”