For Ose Ohen, co-owner of Glazed: The Doughnut Cafe, with sisters Dr. Omonele Nwokolo, Ehinor Ohen and Dr. Amy Mauritz, the time is right to bring a gourmet shop to the area near NRG Stadium and the Texas Medical Center.
"Initially, when I first started talking about this about two years ago, people thought I was crazy. But now over the course of some time, doughnuts appear to be the replacement to cupcakes. I think people still love their cupcakes, but gourmet doughnuts have made a statement across the nation. I’ve been excited and ready to open up," Ohen says.
"I think people still love their cupcakes, but gourmet doughnuts have made a statement across the nation."
Glazed will join a market that's already seen some success thanks to Pena's Donut Heaven & Grill in Pearland and one-year old The Grove Do-Nutz & Deli near Sugar Land. By the end of this summer, Hugs & Donuts will have opened in the Heights, giving Houston a veritable gourmet donut boom.
With the shop set to open Saturday morning and run 24-hours a day, seven days a week from then on, Ohen provided a tour of the space and a preview of the doughnuts. Needless to say, it's come a long way since CultureMap first previewed the concept in May. Now, the cafe-style seating is in place, the glass-enclosed open kitchen is ready to go and the Wi-Fi is turned on.
"We wanted to create a modern, contemporary doughnut place that wasn’t so contemporary that you didn’t feel comfortable being inside here," Ohen explains. "We went through many different types of interior layouts. We decided on a white-black feel with a red pop."
As for the open kitchen, Ohen explains that it's about being transparent about how the restaurant prepares each treat. "We’re big on showing people that we’re making everything from scratch," Ohen says. "You can see us rolling the dough. You can see it rising. You can see it being decorated. You feel comfortable with the end result. We felt like that was something we wanted to give to the public as opposed to closing it off and not seeing what’s going on."
"You can see us rolling the dough. You can see it rising. You can see it being decorated. You feel comfortable with the end result."
By its grand opening Aug. 29, Glazed will have a full menu of 180 items of that mixes yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts, kolaches and savory items. On Saturday, however, only 10 to 12 donuts will be available, including traditional glazed, maple bacon, turkey bacon, lemon poppy seed and Bananas Foster. Prices range from 99 cents for regular donuts to $1.49 for specialty and $1.99 for gourmet. Diners will be able to differentiate prices based on black, silver or red tags.
During my visit, Ohen presented a maple bacon, lemon poppy seed, plain glazed and orange spice doughnut to sample. The basic donut is slightly larger and more dense than a traditional Shipley's, but still has a light texture. Obviously, sweetness is the dominant flavor, but the sweetness isn't overwhelming, even on the maple bacon. The lemon poppy seed stood out thanks a clear, bright, citrus flavor. These are good donuts, and I'll be back to try more flavors.
Whether they're better than Shipley's is up to each person's palate, but Glazed's adventurous flavor combinations and 24-hour utility should make it a destination for Med Center employees looking for a late night treat and students who want an alternative study spot.
Gourmet donuts are here. Will you try one?