We were so excited when we heard about Donut Friend’s grand opening in Highland Park, and all we can say is that the hype was beyond worth it! Donut friend is a DIY donut shop, where you can create your own freshly made donut from a ton of awesome ingredients. Three thoughts that cross our minds…1. How has no one thought of this genius idea before!? 2. Who needs cronuts when you have Donut Friend!? 3. Why aren’t these in every LA neighborhood?
We were thrilled to get to interview Mark Trombino, the owner of Donut Friend!!!
1. What inspired the concept behind Donut Friend?
A friend and I stopped by Donut Man in Glendora on our way back from a show in Orange County a few years ago. They were serving their peach donuts at the time and it kind of blew my mind. It was so simple and so delicious, and I thought it was insane that I had to drive to Glendora to get it.
2. Who or what inspires you right now?
I’m inspired by anything that is done well, especially if it’s done with very little or no money, or by people who love what they do and who put everything they have into it. Surprisingly I’m also inspired by minimalism, but you wouldn’t know it from anything I’ve ever done!
3. To you, what is the best “secret spot” in Los Angeles and why?
With the internet and how quickly information gets out these days, I don’t know if there are any secret spots anymore! I love Guisados but there’s nothing secret about it.
4. What’s your favorite L.A. neighborhood and why?
Highland Park of course! But I’m also really intrigued by Boyle Heights and would love to do something over there next.
5. What kind of vibe will Donut Friend have?
I want everyone to feel welcome at Donut Friend. I want it to be fun, energetic, unpretentious, and inviting for kids, parents, and old nerds like me.
6. How does Donut Friend work (explain why it is different than other donut shops)?
Most donut shops make their donuts ahead of time and you just pick what you want from the limited options they’ve given you. At Donut Friend, you tell us what you want and we make it for you. We also won’t be selling lottery tickets.
7. What is your favorite donut on the Donut Friend menu?
The Gorilla Biscuit is pretty insane. I also really love our Lemon Weapon.
8. What makes Donut Friend unique/special?
I don’t think anyone is doing Do It Yourself donuts besides us right now, so there’s that. And most donut shops in LA use mixes from industrial baking supply companies, but all of our donuts are made from scratch using recipes I developed. I also think our vibe and aesthetic makes us stand out quite a bit, hopefully in a good way.
ACME readers, you must try these donuts!! Prepare for a little bit of a line, but know the wait is well worth it.