Here comes Holey Donuts, an online-turned-IRL "guilt-free" donut shop peddling low fat, fewer calories versions of Homer Simpson's favorite snack. The enterprise opens its first brick-and-mortar operation this Sunday, May 4th in the West Village, taking over (fittingly) the former home of House of Cupcakes, which also happens to be across the street from Big Gay Ice Cream.
Owner and innovator Frank Dilullo began the company 10 years ago, but his doughy roots go back further than that; Dilullo's brother was born in a Dunkin Donuts owned by their father, who was one of the first to open a franchise back in 1958. Dilullo keeps his method under wraps, but the resulting products have less than half the amount of calories as brands like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts. One Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled Krispy Kreme clocks in at 350 calories and 20 grams of fat; a Low Fat Chocolate Crumb creation from Holey Donuts boasts just 148 calories and 3 grams of fat. Dilullo tells us they "don't use artificial sweeteners or weird fat substitutes, just wholesome Pillsbury Ingredients."
They do say fat means flavor, however, so how do these dough circles stack up to the original? We had some delivered to our office yesterday for journalism, though we were warned that the donuts taste best minutes after creation. That's because the shop actually "fills, frosts and boxes" the donuts to order, part of the business's "nothing on display, nothing to throw away" philosophy. Results were mixed, with some staffers put off by the texture, which is more bread-like than a traditional yeast donut.
"[It's] disconcertingly light to the bite," explains Chris Robbins. "But once that frosting kicks in, you can close yr eyes & sip yr coffee and it Almost Feels Like Home." Ad sales man Josh Steele found the flavor "cloyingly sweet" but conceded that "it's a donut so that's to be expected." Yes it is, technically, still just a donut.
Holey Donuts opens Sunday, May 4th at 101 Seventh Avenue South. Donuts retail for $3.85