Doughnuts. I love them. Yet, until this past weekend, I couldn't tell you what my favorite local doughnut shop was. They were all the same to me, and not very different from your chain Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme, aside from the occasional candy, cereal or bacon added on top.
This past weekend, though, changed the doughnut-loving part of my life. Kiera, from Tampa Bay Eats Out, reached out to me via email to recommend Mini Doughnut Factory, a new doughnut shop that took the place of Perk's Donut Bar in South Tampa late last year.
I'd devoted the entire weekend to moving in to my new place, but figured a Saturday afternoon doughnut break was well-deserved. pH and I stopped by around 1 p.m. and met Patrick, the shop's owner. We came at a good time - Patrick noted that from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there was a line out the door and a longer wait. He took the time to explain the menu to us - you can order packs of 3, 6, 16 or 35 mini doughnuts, and each mini doughnut can be customized with your preferred flavors and toppings.
Recommended mini doughnut creations are at the top of the menu, or you can create your own doughnut by selecting the flavor of doughnut, type of icing, topping, and flavor of drizzle. Coffee and drink options are at the bottom of the menu, and your coffee options are endless with the different flavored syrups that Patrick has on hand. Doughnut shakes are a popular menu item - three mini doughnuts are blended to create a delicious cold concoction of ice cream and cakey goodness.
Just past the register, down the hallway, you'll see a painting commissioned especially for the Mini Doughnut Factory, highlighting their most popular specialty doughnut - Cotton Candy, featuring strawberry icing and cotton candy flavored Pop Rocks. Of course, I had to order this doughnut. In addition, we ordered the Boston Cream Pie, the Peanut Butter Cup, the Fudge Brownie, and the Cookie Dough, which was Saturday's special.
I'm not a strawberry icing fan - at all. But the Cotton Candy mini doughnut surprised me - it's not heavy in strawberry flavor and not overly sweet, and the Pop Rocks experience made me feel like a little kid again.
I also created a custom mini doughnut of my own - I ordered the chocolate cake doughnut with maple icing, bacon and Sriracha drizzle. It was AMAZING, and by far the most delicious and savory doughnut I've ever tasted. The hint of spiciness combined with the saltiness of the bacon and sweetness of the doughnut and glaze satisfied every part of my palate - and who doesn't love chocolate added to the mix?
Patrick also let us taste the following day's special: Blueberry Glazed. These were fresh and hot, and absolutely indulgent. The texture was fantastic - slightly crisp on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, and the touch of glaze brushed over the top added the perfect hint of sweetness.
I've found my new favorite local doughnut shop, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Three things that set Mini Doughnut Factory apart from the rest for me:
- Variety. I like variety, but I'm not going to eat three full-sized doughnuts. Instead, I can opt for a three-pack of mini doughnuts and customize them to the flavors that I want.
- Fresh. I want my doughnuts freshly made. My toppings are placed to order - there's no rack or tray that they take my order off of, to place into a box.
- Ambiance. It's the little things that make a huge difference, like ambiance. I've been to doughnut shops that feel either stale or just downright weird. Mini Doughnut Factory has my preferred vibe - rustic modern, with friendly faces.
As we were getting ready to leave, a crowd picked up in the shop - midday pick-me-ups are very much a thing. I had such an amazing experience at Mini Doughnut Factory, and I'm really excited that I'm now just a few minutes away - I will definitely be back, and maybe I'll even see you there!
The Mini Doughnut Factory is located at 2109 South Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and is open Mondays through Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You can check out the menu here, and visit Mini Doughnut Factory on Facebook and Instagram.
*Disclosure: The meal featured in this post was provided by Mini Doughnut Factory for an honest review. Opinions expressed here are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mini Doughnut Factory or Tampa Bay Eats Out.