Brown butter vanilla bean and sea-salted caramel with house-cured bacon are some of the unique flavors at Rendezvous Doughnuts.
“What I want to do is raise Durango’s palate for high-quality doughnuts,” Owner Charlie Shew said.
Since opening about two weeks ago, Rendezvous Doughnuts on east Fifth Street has regularly sold out.
“I’m amazed at the demand,” he said.
After working as a baker at a doughnut shop in Atlanta, Shew saw a clear void in the community when he arrived.
Before graduating from Fort Lewis College in May with an engineering degree, Shew participated in Hawk Tank, a business plan competition, with his co-visionary Mac Greene. While the two didn’t win, it did help kick-start the business.
Shew had talked with Greene, a fellow Georgian, about why doughnut shops meant so much to so many people, and together, they entered the competition to find out if a doughnut shop would be a good fit in town.
It helped formalize a business plan, meet and form a relationship with mentors and assess business financials.
“We almost didn’t need to win the competition; we were finding out what we needed to do,” he said.
Private angel investors provided the funding for the new shop.
“I would call it family, friends and fools ... A banker once told me that was the group of people that a startup should go to before they go to a bank,” he said.
Shew describes Greene as his co-visionary, but Greene is not involved in the business because he has two more years of college.
In addition to market research, Shew also developed his own recipes, drawing on books, the internet and recommendations from mentors
The shop has some classic flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon and sugar, and specialties like sliders filled with fresh fruit.
“We can cover almost anyone’s flavor palate,” he said.
An individual classic doughnut at the shop is $2.45; $23.10 a dozen.
The shop opens every day, except Tuesday, at 7 a.m.
The shop’s current closing time is 2 p.m., but that may change, Shew said.