Christian and Grace arrived at 10.30, and with them a flurry of sweet-smelling treats that went straight into the glass fronted cabinets, lined up like elegantly decorated soldiers.
At the moment Christian and Grace deliver to Prescot and Lark Lane themselves every morning. “I’m not sure if it’s very efficient or not” said Christian, who straight after our chat, was heading over to Kirkby armed with his paintbrush to prepare for their third site, due to open late March.
The interior is flooded by the pink hue from the neon signage, the graffiti on the chipboard-clad walls, the fairy lights and the playlist (for which we have Charlie to thank) make for an ambience that’s all just a bit…cool.
Tell me about how the business started and how it’s grown since your first shop in Prescot.
We want travelling for six months, we saw so many different colours, cultures, different flavoured foods and we got inspired along the way. I’m a coffee head, I love coffee- it makes my world go round. I knew I always wated to do something with coffee. The last place we landed was Australia, we have family over there and they told us about a donut shop, we travelled for 45 minutes to visit it. The concept, and flavours were great. I was never a massive fan of donuts before embarking on this journey.
When we came back, I was a full-time musician doing 15 gigs a week, then lockdown hit. I got involved with some people in the music industry and we were developing an online directory where musicians could find venues and vice versa. I put so much time into it, into online courses, market and branding- everything that goes into making a successful business. It fell apart. I felt deflated and I had nothing to show for it.
During Covid I got a job, I actually delivered for Domino’s. Every time I was in the car I drove past a shop in Prescot, the next minute there was a ‘to let’ sign and I thought “That would make a good donut shop” I made a few phone calls because I knew I could make it work. I spoke to my friend called Daniel who’s an avid baker and asked if he was interested in getting involved- his nickname in school was Doogle. I told him if you research the donuts and how to make them, I will build the shop. Grace was working for the council at the time, I was getting her in at the weekends because I couldn’t deal with the pressure.
Where does your flavour inspiration come from?
We like to pay homage to the original flavours and keep it simple. We like to make sure we have a range, the fruity ones, white chocolate etc, we try to keep a nice balance. To keep the customers coming back we try and introduce a new flavour every week.
There’s a science to donuts like there is to coffee. Heat and humidity both affect them. We do Too Good To Go, no donut makes it to the second day!
What’s the most popular flavour?
That’s really difficult to say, I think the La Beuno.
What’s your favourite donut that you make?
Caramel custard. I didn’t even like custard before that donut existed.
Tell me about what good coffee means to you.
Christian: It’s always been about a love of coffee rather than making coffee. We’ve always had an espresso machine at home, a cafetiere, all the toys. When we travelled to Vienna, it was my first experience of amazing coffee. We’re at the stage now where we want to expand and embed coffee culture into the business, I want us to offer reusable cups, cafetieres and equipment. Your Continental blend is lovely and our customers love it, but maybe it’s time we make a Doogle’s blend, we need to do another tasting with you. Doogles do good donuts but they also do good coffee as well, I want people to know us for that.
Grace: I travelled to Australia when I was 19, their coffee culture was interesting to me, they had coffee drive-thrus, their set up is a really interesting concept. Also before I forget, I want to say the support we’ve had from Adams + Russell has really made a difference, checking in with us, the training, it’s been amazing.
Finally, what’s your favourite coffee to drink?
I like it strong, my go to is a flat white. I don’t take sugar but I like the sweetness of the milk.
Oat milk flat white