Rolling in the Good Dough
After months of recipe testing and pop-up events, the highly anticipated artisanal doughnut shop Good Dough opened, much to the delight of salivating fans. We caught up with owners Brittany and Logan Moore and recipe developer Amanda Gibson in the San Marco shop to hear more about flavor choices, partnerships with other local businesses and using the power of doughnuts to help build a community.
What is your background in the food business?
Amanda: I grew up in the Midwest, in the country, with some livestock and a giant pasture in my back yard. We had a really cool garden and a wild mulberry tree. We'd go hunting for morel mushrooms in the spring, and if we ever saw wild asparagus on the side of the road, we'd pull over. My mother made a lot of meals from scratch and often utilized our garden. I didn't realize how much I appreciated it until I started living in other people's homes, where they didn't make anything from scratch and didn't care about food. I started going out to eat to look for people who did care about food. I'd always try to find what was local.
However, I ended up working in fast casual dining, and as much as I'd hate to go back to it, I'm grateful for what I learned there. There's truly nothing like working in a corporate restaurant; you learn a lot of things that are beneficial. Unfortunately, you often get treated very poorly or see others treated very poorly. I made a vow to myself seven years ago I'd never work in a corporate restaurant again; I'd find local shops to help build them up to be successful and be a part of something that had a greater meaning than a profit. It sounds weird to say business, because I so desperately want it to be just a livelihood. I never went to culinary school and I never took any classes. I have read way too many things to find the why's to how things work.
Where did the idea and concept for Good Dough come from?
Logan: Brittany and I had long been considering options for a future business but never found the concept that inspired us to take the leap. Then a few years ago we walked into a handcrafted doughnut shop. So many people from our neighborhood were in line—a long line!—but they were all happy. Smiling, talking, and sharing these amazing doughnuts. It hit us pretty quickly that this was the concept for us.
Tell us about your flavor pairings. Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Amanda: When I met Brittany and Logan, they told me their hopes for Good Dough, and one of them was to use local ingredients and push the creativity for the team. I love going to local restaurants and getting something I wouldn't get anywhere else, or try a flavor combination I wouldn't normally think to put together. I think we have such a thriving food scene; a lot of inspiration comes from watching my favorite restaurants. I follow a lot of food bloggers on Instagram. I like pulling inspiration from memories and inside jokes. Not everyone will get them, but most of the time there's a story or a thought and for those who ask, I have something to share.
Logan: Brittany and I had ideas for flavors and got a lot of inspiration from places around the country. We also Instagram stalked a number of bakers and shops. When we started working with Amanda she brought our ideas to reality and came up with amazing recipes that we hadn’t thought of; the Brown Butter glaze is the first flavor she made for us and it blew us away. I can still remember trying it with Brittany in our kitchen. We looked at each other and said “We have to work with her!”
What type of local ingredients are used in your doughnuts? Is honey used as a sweetener?
In the doughnuts we use local eggs (Bethesda Farms) and milk (Wainwright Dairy) as much as possible. We use honey in several of our glazes, for our chicken Doughwich and our coffee. We also use a number of other local vendors for our different recipes and coffee.
What kind of partnerships are you developing with other local businesses?
Logan: We have been working closely with Vagabond Coffee on our coffee program and training for our team. They’ve been a great partner for us. As much as we can, we use Wainwright Dairy for our milk and cheese and Bethesda Farms for our eggs. (We have limited storage and they tend to deliver only once a week so we don’t use them exclusively right now.)
So many businesses have been supportive of what we are doing and generous with their time to help us with questions and our learning along the way. A few allowed us to partner with them for pop-ups before we opened in order to get the word out and get feedback on our initial recipes.
Why do you think artisanal doughnuts have become such a big trend?
Amanda: The artisanal doughnut is a type of canvas to do more. We've quickly found out that whatever you're really thinking, you can put it on (or in!) a doughnut. It pushes creativity, and people who enjoy the unique items get that opportunity to try something you wouldn't normally have just anywhere.
Brittany: The artisanal doughnut can be such a creative twist on a classic and nostalgic food. It seems like most people have a special memory of getting doughnuts growing up. My Dad used to get us doughnuts from a little seaside bakery in San Diego and we’d eat them near the beach. I can still picture all the details when I think about it.
What has been the biggest surprise since starting this project?
Amanda: I knew people were excited for Good Dough, but I guess I didn't know how excited people truly were. We've been busy, and that provides its own challenges... but they're always good challenges. I just keep saying that it's super humbling that people are willing to wait in a line to get something you've worked hard on. People don't get to see some of our team members who get up at 1 or 2 am. Our doughnuts are made from scratch, in small batches, by hand. They also don't get to see the months it took me to create this recipe or the years before when Brittany and Logan were dreaming this place up.
Logan: We knew business ownership would be a lot of work. The reality of that is different than just knowing it. The past two years have been a lot of nights and weekends to get to where we are now. So not sure if that’s a surprise or just the difference between theory and reality. It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of challenges and super exciting.
The support from guests, other businesses and the community overall has been amazing. It’s something that you hope for but aren’t sure is going to happen prior to opening. We don’t take the support we’ve received lightly and feel a strong obligation to continue to get better and earn the support each day.
Want to try some of Good Dough's goodness? Visit their shop. Details online at www.gooddoughdoughnuts.com