City Girl Donuts to Bring Scratch-Made Confections to Rocky River


Today is National Donut Day, so Barbara Fazio thought it would be a great day to announce her new donut concept, City Girl Donuts, which will open this fall. She has partnered with pastry chef Erica Coffee to open a contemporary donut shop in the former Grady’s Fine Wines (20253 Lake Rd.) shop in Rocky River.

“I’ve been a donut-crazed person my whole life,” Fazio confesses. “I remember walking home from elementary school and using my lunch money to buy that perfect maple cream Long John. I travel and eat donuts in cities like Chicago and Seattle and I always wonder why isn’t anybody doing it here. It’s crazy!”

After being introduced to Coffee, the seeds of an idea germinated into a full-fledged concept that will offer fresh-made, from-scratch donuts that use quality ingredients, toppings and fillings.

“I’m very excited and happy to be working with Erica because not only is she so talented, but she is so great to work with,” Fazio says.

As much as people adore donuts – and food-based startups – in this town, you’d think Cleveland would be lousy with donut shops by now. That isn’t the case. Chef-partner Coffee believes that’s because the concept isn’t as straightforward as it appears.

“I think it’s really difficult,” she says. “They can be finicky; how long do you proof the dough? How many times do you proof it? You can run the same batch 100 different times and they come out different each time.”

Plus, she adds, a lot of labor goes into it baking, frying, glazing and filling. Batches will be made throughout the day as needed, she notes.

As for the style, Coffee describes them as a cross between traditional yeast donuts and brioche-style donuts.

“A traditional style brioche donut is really eggy, buttery but also a little bit denser and stiffer,” she explains. “So were taking the idea of a brioche donut, that buttery, fatty, creamy texture and incorporating it into the style of a yeast donut, so you get the best of both worlds.”

The team is shooting for six fried and six cake styles each day.

“We’ll do some classic flavors, some spins on classics, but the options are endless,” Coffee says. “We want to do things that are unique, but we also don’t want to scare people away with crazy flavors and flavor profiles.”

As for the shop, it will be simple, clean and modern, says Fazio.

“Because I’m a city girl I’m going to do more of an industrial vibe with subway tile, industrial shelving and maybe a chalkboard wall,” she says.

Look for City Girl Donuts to open in September.

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