After selling doughnuts and other baked goods at markets across Sydney for the past two years – and building a serious following on social media – the sibling duo behind Donut Papi, Kenneth and Karen Rodrigueza, have found a permanent home in Redfern.
And before you wonder if Sydney has room for more doughnuts, it seems the demand for deep-fried rings of dough is still high. Kenneth says Donut Papi is selling at least 400 a day – twice what it used to sell at markets.
“There’s nothing better than fresh handmade doughnuts served hot and straight from the fryer,” he says.
What sets Donut Papi apart from other doughnut makers is its incorporation of Asian flavours, inspired mainly by the owners’ Filipino heritage.
“We focus on Asian ingredients; I’m really fond of Japanese and am a massive fan of matcha. But it’s also because no one does Asian flavours in a doughnut – it’s usually chocolate or cinnamon,” says Kenneth.
While ube (purple yam) and pandan doughnuts will always be available, the rest of the offering changes daily – sometimes with glaze, other times its doughnuts filled with jam. Handmade Pop-Tarts and “duffins” are occasionally available, too, and Kenneth has plans to introduce gluten-free and vegan options. Handmade Pop-Tarts and duffins are occasionally available, too.
“I experiment everyday, that’s why I do this, because I can do whatever I want,” he says.
“We’re very playful and colourful. I mean, we put cereal on our doughnuts. But at the same time, we shouldn’t be too ridiculous. We still think about whether something will go well in a doughnut. For instance, cereal is crunchy, so it adds good texture.”
Unlike her brother, Karen says she likes to incorporate more classic flavours into her baked goods, such as Nutella and peanut butter, producing pieces such as brownies and chocolate-crinkle sandwiches, which are fudgy cookies sometimes referred to as “crackle cookies”, a popular sweet in the Philippines.
Alongside these, there’s matcha- and ube-flavoured milkshakes and frappes, and punters can relive their childhood by ordering bowls of cereal, such as Cap’n Crunch and Froot Loops.
Although the pair now has the shop, they say it’s not their main focus. There are plans to expand their wholesale business, mainly to western Sydney, and eventually offer online orders (at the moment, online orders can be made through the “Menulog for home bakers”: FoodByUs). “I’m still looking for the perfect operation for us,” says Kenneth.
34A Redfern Street, Redfern
Wed to Fri 9am–3pm