The Salty opens serving strawberry shortcake doughnuts and maple brown sugar cold brew

The Buckhead location is first of three planned for Atlanta

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Courtesy of the Salty

Courtesy of the Salty

Atlanta has its fair share of doughnut shops. Although the beloved Krispy Kreme burned down in 2021 (reconstruction is in the works), Sublime, Doughnut Dollies, Revolution, and Hero keep us sated with sweet fried goodness, not to mention bakeries like Five Daughters that offer a spin on the traditional. Is there really room in the market for yet another gourmet doughnut spot? The Salty CEO Andy Rodriguez says yes.

He started the company in the Wynwood area of Miami with Amanda Pizarro in 2015. The couple have since grown it from a 1950s Aljoa camper to nine brick-and-mortar locations across the South. “We felt like no one had figured out a way to do artisan donuts in an incredibly beautiful environment that’s scalable and had a great coffee program,” Rodriguez explains. “Doing craft coffee at a high level is really complicated, as is artisan donuts. Plus, a lot of times the spaces aren’t inviting to stay and hangout—or are monotonous from location to location.”

Courtesy of the Salty

The Salty—named such for its inherent quirkiness—features eight to 10 doughnut flavors at each location at a time, in addition to other baked goods. Flavors vary by location and rotate every few weeks. Expect a brioche-based glazed, vanilla cake-based brown butter sea salt, cookie butter cake doughnuts, white chocolate chai, and strawberry shortcake doughnuts. There’s also a maple cinnamon twist, brown sugar and cinnamon pop tart, and a jalapeno cheddar biscuit. Everything is made in house, and the Salty often collaborates with local purveyors for specialty items.

“Brioche can be toast, a sandwich, a doughnut. It lends itself to both sweet and savory things,” Rodriguez says. As such, a cacio e pepe doughnut is in the works.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, the Salty is a community-based company that thrives on partnerships with health and fitness companies. “It’s in our DNA. We work hard and play hard. Our customers want the best, and that can mean homemade and natural, even if it’s not the best for you,” Rodriguez says. Run clubs and patio yoga are just examples of how this comes into play.

Courtesy of the Salty

Featuring Intelligensia, the Salty offers everything from basic drip coffee to cortados, lattes, and cold brew. For a treat, try the iced vanilla bean latte or maple brown sugar cold brew. The cinnamon cereal milk latte is another house specialty.

Formerly a Johnny Rockets (and most recently a Your Pie pizza shop), the Buckhead space (5 West Paces Ferry Road Northwest) is designed to look like a modern, counter-service diner. “There’s nothing worse than a brand that doesn’t look to the area and the people that they’re in,” Rodriguez says. “We believe it’s important to pay homage to the building and the neighborhood. We want to be ingrained in the community.” Every Salty location has its own ambiance inspired by the area. Rodriguez says the Krog District location, which is slated to open in July, will be “cool and vibey” with textured walls and dark colors. The West Midtown space will be new construction and boast a modern industrial look and feel. It’s targeting a late 2023 opening.

Courtesy of the Salty

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