NEW BEDFORD – Some of the craziest donuts you will ever eat, over-the-top milkshakes you need to experience, and Chicago style deep-dish pizza where a single slice is more like a meal. If you are looking to indulge, then you need to visit The Donut Factory.
Located in the South Coast city of New Bedford, The Donut Factory takes the idea of a basic donut, and frosts, fills, dunks, dips, and drizzles it into a gloriously gluttonous treat.
Jackie Webb opened the shop about two years ago. It has a steampunk theme, a big counter, and an alluring bakery case filled with about two dozen different donuts.
“When people first come in, they’re in awe.”
How could they not be? The Donut Factory has more than 270 different flavors in their recipe book, most of which transform your favorite sweet treats into donuts.
“We do all your classic donuts,” Jackie said, “and then we have our gourmet line. So we really take those cookies and candies that we all love and we change it into a donut.”
There are no assembly lines to be found at Donut Factory; every single donut here is made by hand, every step of the way.
“The flour gets mixed with our yeast and with our water. We let it rise, and then the baker will roll it out,” Jackie explained.
The dough is hand cut, then into the proofer, and later into the fryer. Even before these donuts get decorated, they are a thing of beauty.
“Our donuts are nice and airy, nice and fluffy. When you break into them you can actually see the air pockets within,” Jackie described. “Push it and they bounce back, which is a perfect donut.”
Of course, perfection is improved upon once the decorators step in.
“Everything is by hand. Every individual donut is taken care of with love,” Jackie said, before describing how a couple of their customer favorites are created.
“This is our Strawberry Shortcake. It is a raised yeast donut shell with homemade style whipped cream. It’s got fresh strawberries inside with a homemade strawberry puree. We drizzle it with some powdered sugar, some fresh whipped cream, and then top it with a sliced strawberry. It tastes like your grandma’s homemade Strawberry Shortcake.”
“This is our Peanut Butter Explosion. It has a peanut butter mousse with a Dutch fudge on top. It’s rolled in mini Reese’s Pieces, a dollop of the same Dutch fudge, and then half of a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Top it off with a hot fudge drizzle and a peanut butter drizzle and it’s ready to go. It tastes like a peanut butter explosion in your mouth.”
Other sweet options include a Hot Cocoa Donut topped with mini marshmallows and stuffed chocolate marshmallow filling, and a PB & J Donut with peanut butter cream and Nutter Butters on top, and lots of grape jelly inside.
There are savory donuts here too, like the Chicken and Waffles with maple icing, a mini waffle, and a golden fried tender, or the top-selling Maple Bacon Walnut Donut.
“The Maple Bacon Walnut Donut is a yeast ring donut and it’s dipped in a maple icing, and then we dip it in some crushed walnuts, and we have some caramelized candied bacon. We glazed over with a maple syrup,” Jackie described.
“You’ve got that salty. You’ve got sweet. You’ve got that nutty flavor, and it’s really one of the best flavors that we have. It’s just overwhelming for your taste buds.”
Just as overwhelming are the milkshakes, like the Chocolate Chip Cookie Shake, the Birthday Dunkaroo Shake, and the Toasted S’mores Shake.
“You have chocolate morsels in there. You have marshmallow fluff in there, and then you top it with your graham cracker, your toasted marshmallow and your Hershey bar,” Jackie said. “It tastes like sitting by a campfire and having your melted s’mores.”
This being the Donut Factory, donuts are the star of the show of course, but this place is also gaining a following for its Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, made every day by Jackie’s dad Stan.
“When we opened the donut shop, he said ‘hey, I’m going to try pizza. See if people like my pizza.’ And people love his pizza.”
Made with buttery homemade dough, a sweet tomato sauce, and stuffed with tons of cheese, these pies bake up big and bubbly. A single slice weighs in at almost two pounds.
For a meal that’s a bit more manageable, you can also try a New Bedford delicacy known as a Linguica Roll.
“They are the hit of the city,” Jackie said of her dad’s creations. “It is just about half a pound of linguica, five ounces of a five cheese blend inside his homemade bread. He butters his crust, and it’s amazing.”
It’s hard for customers not to be happy at the Donut Factory, no matter what kind of day they’re having.
“When they come in, even if they’re having a bad day, they’re greeted with a smile, and we want you to leave with a smile – a smile and a bag full of goodies.”
You can find the Donut Factory at 102 Rockdale Avenue in New Bedford, and online at thedonutfactories.com.
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