We felt Exeter needed a little happiness in the form of great tasting dough. As passionate foodies and fans of baking, we took it upon ourselves to take up the challenge of creating a vegan doughnut delivery service.
We organised a few pop up delivery nights via social media, brought a little fryer which could fry four doughnuts at a time and after a few labour intensive hours we would then drive around Exeter in our car delivering (quite literally dough dealing).
We received our 5* food & hygiene rating and started producing (12-hour all nighters are rough I tell you!) doughnuts for a local vegan market. In the times we’ve attended (very sleep deprived) our doughnuts have been selling out within the first few hours, it became clear there was a definite interest for what we had to offer.
Running a start up from a shared house, as well as juggling full time jobs, has grown increasingly difficult. It has completely outgrown our kitchen and house; our bedrooms have become storage rooms for our equipment and supplies. Luckily my partner’s supportive bosses, who are in the baking industry themselves, have let us use their bakery space at the weekends when needed which has been a tremendous support for us in terms of space and benefiting from the use of a commercial mixer to meet the demand for the bimonthly vegan market.
We are currently at max capacity of what we can feasibly achieve whilst still gaining wholesale and festival inquiries that, at present, are not realistically achievable. We have reached a point where we are in desperate need for our own work space and equipment (especially a proofing oven) to develop our start up further and break into the weekday market.
We have experienced lows and highs but we are always learning in the process through trial, error and have kept persevering regardless of the obstacles faced. While continuing to improve, at the end of the day that is all part of the journey of a start up.
Initially if we raise this funding and reach the target, we have the chance to receive an extra £500 in funding as well as potentially being short-listed to win a huge business grant ranging from £2,020 to £10,000.
These funds will enable us to grow further by setting up a space with equipment like a proofing oven, a commercial mixer, a larger fryer & chest freezer - which will help to increase the quantity and quality of dough that can be produced. The making process will run more efficiently, solving the temperature issues with the proofing stage and allow us to meet the demand for more substantial orders, attend more local southwest markets and get ever closer to opening our own bakehouse.
With any money left over being put towards a small van that will help us to transport our equipment and market stall supplies around more easily, and with a little d.i.y a potential shop on wheels.
Mock ups of our tee and tote! The very talented illustrator George Goodwin @omgidrawedit (check out his insta) has designed our print illustration! Which will then be screen printed onto organic cotton & with vg friendly inks.
We believe there is nothing currently in the southwest that offers a vegan doughnut filled with flavour and topped like ours. All of our jams, compotes, syrups, glazes, flavourings and toppings are handmade by us from scratch - everything will always be thoughtfully made in small batches (who needs sleep anyway).
We offer a flavourful menu with a range of classic and seasonal flavours, changing regularly with a rapidly growing list of ambitious flavour ideas to test out.
We know you can buy a cheap standard vegan, palm oil doughnut from the big brands, but it won’t be like ours - fresh and handmade, unique flavour combinations with no nasty added preservatives or artificial food colourings.
We feel it is an important to be as inclusive as possible for those suffering from allergens and intolerances, we offer an array of soy & nut free options. Currently we do not offer a gluten-free option, but we certainly hope to in the future.
We know what goes into our dough, natural fresh ingredients and hard work (lots of patience during proves), with a desire to create great tasting dough, that's palm free.
We felt it was an important aspect of the business, that's what makes Dough Eyes different. Mostly every product globally contains palm. We want to prove palm oil isn't necessary, we may miss out on a couple of great flavour ideas, but the environment is just more important.
We are very consciously aware and care greatly about the environment regarding our waste footprint. We use as much dough as possible from the offcuts to make tasty sugar dusted or filled dough balls and use recyclable packaging for takeaways. We offer a discount to anyone who comes along to our market stall that brings their own container - promoting a re-use notion.
Our vision is to eventually open a vegan artisan bakehouse in Exeter, Devon.
We would love to have the option of hiring some more floury hands and make doughnuts with the scope to branch out into a variety of morning pastries and lunch based bagel options, giving a sweet and savoury option with further potential to expand into wholesale opportunities, weddings & commissions on a much larger scale.
‘Floury on the weekends’ is our current motto but we want to be floury on a permanent basis.
Please help our start up thrive & pledge on one of the rewards today. With your support we can become a permanent staple in the local plant-based Exeter community.
Cory & Jack