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Doughnuts with a ‘good vibe’

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

Canadian Healthcare, Evil Elvis and Vampire Weekend are all coming to Denton on Sept. 3, and they’ll be making regular appearances at the new Hypnotic Donuts shop just off the Square.

The creatively named doughnuts are some of the unusual concoctions that the shop will feature. The Canadian Healthcare doughnut is a long john topped with maple icing and a strip of bacon, while the Evil Elvis features peanut butter, bacon, banana and honey toppings.

James St. Peter, who owns the shop with his wife, Amy, said they weren’t sure at first about coming to Denton, after some of their regular customers kept suggesting they open a store in the area. After they visited the town and talked with other businesses on the Square, they decided it would be a good home for a non-traditional doughnut shop.

“All the business owners I’ve talked to in Denton have been so welcoming to new business, and in some places they don’t want to share information because of competition,” he said.

“Anywhere we go, we want to be somewhere we can be a part of the community. We don’t want to go in somewhere and try to beat out other stores — we were looking for somewhere we could be ingrained in the community, and we found that here.”

The doughnut varieties aren’t the only things that will set the shop apart, St. Peter said.

The Denton location will even be a spin-off from the Dallas shop, offering longer hours and sharing space with Cultivar Coffee.

There will be an outdoor patio with a grassy area for dogs and additional menu items like beer, salads and poutine.

Yes, poutine. St. Peter said he was inspired while visiting Canada, where he competed on a Canadian doughnut show, and decided it had to be on the menu. He will have the classic version with fries, brown gravy and cheese curds, and also a Hypnotic version with Tater Tots, white gravy and cheese curds.

“We tried it, loved it and there was no doubt I was bringing it to Denton,” he said.

At a separate register will be Cultivar Coffee, a Dallas-based roaster that currently operates out of a shared space in Dallas.

Co-owners Jonathan Meadows and Nathan Shelton have been roasting their own coffee for five years, and were looking to expand outside of the Dallas market. When Hypnotic asked if they wanted to venture up north with them, it was an easy decision.

“Denton is a really artistic, fun community,” Meadows said. “I feel like how we do coffee is a little bit adventurous sometimes for some people who haven’t experienced coffee in the way that we do it. Denton strikes me as a community of people who are willing to try new things, so I feel like there might be less resistance to us.”

They decided to do coffee how they wanted, so specialty drinks come in one size. For example, a cappuccino is only available in six ounces because they feel that optimizes taste. They also make all of their own syrups and sauces and have even started making their own almond milk so there is total control over the drink.

“We get to choose what kind of cocoa, what kind of vanilla extract, how thick it is, how sweet it is,” Shelton said. “We get to tailor it specifically to our coffee.”

The shared space will also function as a venue for artists to display their work, St. Peter said. The business doesn’t charge to put someone’s art on the walls, and doesn’t take commission.

Aspects like this, and the space’s used tables from Habitat for Humanity, help the storefront feel less cold and commercial, St. Peter said.

“The overall vibe is trying to get people away from that corporate feel and that chain feel, that’s our main objective,” he said. “It’s just to create the ultimate dining experience — not just a good product, but a good vibe as well.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.