Oakleigh is no stranger to sweets. Powerhouses Nikos Quality Cakes and Vanilla Cakes and Lounge are the area’s destination cafes for traditional Greek cakes, consistently attracting crowds. But Yani Kabylakis, the co-owner of The Oakleigh Doughnut Co, doesn’t see them as competition – in a nice way.
“We respect that the meccas of Oakleigh are Nikos and Vanilla,” Kabylakis says. “They are both masters at making traditional cakes, which people will always be on the lookout for. We just believe there is a place for a doughnut shop.”
Kabylakis and his brother Nic call their new shop “TODCO” for short – pronounced “todd-coe”. The brothers chose to open in Oakleigh because it’s where they were born and raised.
“Our main priority was to bring specialty coffee to Oakleigh – the doughnuts came … following that. We needed to offer something sweet to accompany our coffee,” Kabylakis says. It’s made with beans from Five Senses.
Those accompaniments, for now, are classic Greek cakes reincarnated in doughnut form, a nod to the brothers’ heritage. There’s the Galakdough – a spin on the traditional Greek dessert, galaktoboureko. The doughnut is filled with milk custard and topped with cinnamon, sugar syrup and filo pastry. The Halva Nice Day – made with imported Greek halva – is covered in caramalised sesame and tahini icing. And there are more flavours to come.
“We don’t want to be known as a ‘Greek doughnut shop’,” Kabylakis says. “We’ve started with flavours relevant to our heritage, but plan on broadening to offer more multicultural doughnuts. We’re going to explore using matcha and tiramisu soon, for example.”
TODCO has about 15 seats inside its Eaton Mall shop, and 20 seats outside.
But the brothers understand the “romance of the doughnut shop” is being able to take away a box of the things and dig into them at home. With that in mind they have installed a takeaway window for a quick getaway.
The Oakleigh Doughnut Co
36 Portman Street, Oakleigh
(03) 9569 8172)
Mon ¬to Thu 10am–10pm
Fri & Sat 10am–11pm