Doe Bakehouse: The doughnut shop that has taken Harrogate by storm
- Credit: Adam Greenwood Photography
Evie Jackson is sprinkling some joy with her delicious donut business with a big heart.
'Bright, colourful, and exciting', was the vision Evie Jackson had for her little donut shop on the genteel streets of Harrogate back in 2019.
She wanted to create a living rainbow where people could press pause on their busy lives and escape their everyday normality. But was the spa town ready for such a thing? Seems it was, because in just two years the success of the business has allowed Evie to acquire three more shops, a large-scale production kitchen, and 50 members of staff.
Armed with a dream, and loved ones by her side, Evie walked away from her stable career as a PE teacher at a prestigious grammar school and set out to make Doe Bakehouse a reality.
There was no clear business plan, but Evie knew she had to create something exciting that people would want to shout about. Donuts could be made into whacky flavours and eye-catching designs, but, she says, 'It’s not just about the donut, it’s the experience,'. The sweet, sticky, naughty experience.
And what an experience it is! Flavours such as Eton Mess Donuts: strawberry glaze topped with cream, crushed meringue and berries or Capuccino donuts with vanilla glaze and mocha cream with a sprinkle of cocoa. Even donut holes are a thing - the 'waste' baked and covered with icing and sprinkles.
The top milkshakes with donuts and play with savoury flavours too.
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In these Instagram times everyone wants to show that they’re having an experience. The sweet treats fit the bill.
This is why so much detail goes into every aspect of the business, from the brightly coloured shops that make you feel as though you’ve fallen into a bag of liquorice allsorts to the amazing latte art, artistic packaging, and super, friendly staff. If you’re wanting a happy, fun, colourful, and glitter-filled experience, you’re in the right place.
As the business has grown so have the products, from weird and wonderful flavours to delicious bakes, cookie dough pots, celebration donut cakes, monster shakes, donut letters, and more.
If you live in York, you can order a box as a gift to be delivered by bicycle by IndieGo Delivery, presented in a brightly coloured packaging with the words ‘You’ve Got Post – Doe’.
Every month the menu changes, as the team get together to talk through ideas and flavours, but this month it’s being thrown out to the general public to decide. Each day the production staff make between 800-1000 donuts, with most of the shops selling out before closing time. In fact, demand has been so high for the doughy delights that postal deliveries have had to go on hold for the time being.
In the early days, it was just Evie, her brother Shea, and another member of staff making donuts in a tiny kitchen, but the business grew so quickly that they had to acquire a 3,000 sq ft production kitchen at Layerthorpe to help meet the demand.
Evie puts her success down to saying yes to every opportunity that comes her way and believing anything is possible.
'Lockdown was the point where it took off', she says.
'The demand for postal donuts rocketed after putting them on the website - it took a matter of hours before they had received over 400 orders.'
With herself, fianceé Alex, and brother Shea being one household they were able to work all day and night to get the orders done. 'It wasn’t an easy journey, but we just knew we had to make it work,' recalls Evie.
People now travel from far and wide just to experience Doe in person, with queues often forming outside each shop.
There’s even a fan group of loyal followers on social media. Yet behind the beautifully bright façade lies something more.
One of Evie’s main aims was to create a space where people could be themselves.
'After lockdown, I thought who could really benefit from the space we have?'
Which is when she decided to host a morning for people with learning difficulties.
'Many hadn’t left the house for a year, it had been incredibly tough on them, even just ordering by themselves was a massive hurdle.'
The event was a huge success which spurred Evie on to host more. There have been mother and baby groups, LGBTQIA+ meet-ups, dog parties, and she doesn’t plan to stop there.
Along with poetry nights and a book club, Evie plans to host a study group for students to be able to get together with their friends, just as they would have in the library before the pandemic.
People clearly mean a lot to the business owner, who creates apprenticeships for young people and always makes sure her staff are happy and never under too much pressure.
When she talks about leaving teaching to open Doe Bakehouse, Evie explains, 'I wanted to talk to people, meet new people, to bring colour, happiness, fun...what brings more fun than a donut in a rainbow shop?' We couldn’t agree more.
If you’d like to get a slice of the action you can find Doe Bakehouse in Harrogate (Bower Street), York (Church Street), York Layerthrope, Clitheroe (Market Place) or order a box to arrive on bicycle by IndieGo Delivery in York