Who doesn’t love a good doughnut? Well, probably somebody doesn’t, but I think we can agree those people are highly suspect. The problem many folks have, though, is that they often struggle to find their favorite ones in stock at their local shop. Or, if they shop at the wrong time of day, what is available has been sitting on the shelf since early that morning. If you’re the type of aficionado who wants to have it exactly how you want it and fresh out of the fryer, then Wild & Wonderful Donuts is the place for you.
Wild & Wonderful is a doughnut shop of a different kind, the kind that allows you to custom order as few as one doughnut and then watch it being made for you. It starts with seeing the batter drop into the automatic fryer, which even turns the tasty treats over and drops them onto a draining rack. After they cool enough to handle, it’s off to be coated, topped, and drizzled with any of dozens of combinations, allowing for an almost endless array of taste and texture sensations. There are nine coatings, including traditional glazed; thirteen toppings, one of which is bacon; and three drizzles to choose from. And if you get a dozen doughnuts, each one can be a little different. If making all those decisions seems a little daunting, just pick from one or more of their pre-set customer favorites, like Samoa, Macon, or Strawberry Cheesecake.
This twist on the traditional system, in which the staff guestimate how many of each kind to make ahead of time and often either have too many at the end of the day or run short before the day is over, is the brainchild of Quenta Agaba. Ms. Agaba is a native of Philadelphia, but she told me that when she moved to the Mid-Ohio Valley four years ago, when her husband accepted a position here, she felt like she had come home. Her day job still takes her back to the area where she grew up as often as once a month, but when she’s there, she can’t wait to get back to the MOV. It has to do with the pace of life. Although she’s busy with a full-time job as well as a business, she still feels more relaxed here than she ever did in the big city rat race of Philadelphia.
Interestingly, Ms. Agaba never had a dream of opening a doughnut shop, or a business of any kind, for that matter. She has a background in business and when she and her husband came across a similar type of shop in another city while they were vacationing, it occurred to them that it might be a good model to try back home. And it appears they were right. Much of their business comes from a combination of repeat customers and word-of-mouth, and business is good.
They started making plans and doing research into how the business might work in September of 2016 and opened last March. It took a lot more research than one might think. For instance, there are several doughnut recipes out there beyond the basic cake doughnut. The other likely option was a yeast dough, but they found that the process was too slow to fit their goal of allowing people to order and see the doughnut being made and handed to them while they wait. So, they settled on a standard batter, what most folks think of as a glazed doughnut.
Ms. Agaba said they are looking to expand their offerings in the near future to include doughnut holes, miniatures, and doughnut cake pops, as well as custom coffee creations. In the meantime, you can get your fresh-out-of-the-fryer pastry, complete with the toppings of your choice, along with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. They also carry a number of bottled beverages.
Wild & Wonderful Donuts, 2200 Grand Central Avenue, is open Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 6:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am to 6:30pm. So, if you are ever in the mood for a truly fresh doughnut custom-made right before your eyes, give them a try. I dough-nut think you’ll be sorry. Apologies for the terrible pun.