Andrew Gauthier's quest for a donut and a cup of coffee morphed into something unexpected.
In 2015, the 20-something entrepreneur plastered 60s and 70s posters on the walls of a 900-square foot space in Williamston, set up a kitchen, and began making donuts. Within weeks, Groovy Donuts was a happening place, putting up to 1,000 fry or cake donuts daily into cases, boxes and the hands of customers.
Today, Gauthier manages two stores and is frying and baking up a storm. His East Lansing branch opened in September 2016 at 3054 E. Lake Lansing Road, and projects the same vibe as the original shop at 313 W. Grand River in Williamston. Standards include cake donut classics like buttermilk and sour cream, as well as apple, cherry and blueberry fritters.
"We're known for our 'size of your face fritters,'" says Gauthier. "And then there's our 'funky hubcap'—a gigantic, 12-donuts-in-one that we can do for parties or as an alternative to a cake."
Gauthier also caters to the adventurous palate, with up to 50 varieties that include pina colada, maple bacon and seasonal or customer-inspired confections.
"We take feedback very seriously," he says. "Ultimately, I view my business from how I would want to be treated. If someone comes in and asks if we would consider serving this, I start looking into it."
Groovy Donuts has expanded its repertoire and offers some baked goods including biscotti and muffins. Bloom Coffee Roasters supplies coffee by the cup and the bag. In keeping with the classic rock theme, Gauthier enlisted local artist Dennis Preston to create concert inspired labels for each special blend. This spring, Gauthier looks to offer crumb cakes, croissants and potentially, breakfast sandwiches.
"When we started this whole thing, we didn't quite know what to expect," says Gauthier. "But Williamston and East Lansing have really embraced us. My main goal is to make every customer who walks through the door happier than when they came in."
Groovy Donuts bakes everything on site at the 2,000-square foot East Lansing location—including nearly 5,500 paczkis for Fat Tuesday. Gauthier employs a "baker's dozen" staff between the two Groovy Donuts.
Source: Andrew Gauthier, Owner, Groovy Donuts
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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