Friday, February 13, 2015

SUGAR. Handmade Gourmet Doughnuts brings an iconic sweet treat to the Queen City in a new way

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 2:22 PM

Food Truck Fridays recently got a bit sweeter thanks to the first and only doughnut truck in the Queen City, SUGAR. Handmade Gourmet Doughnuts. (Yes, it does have a period after SUGAR.)

SUGAR. is showing up and showing out at the EpiCentre’s Mardi Gras Celebration this evening with three themed doughnuts — bourbon-glazed, king cake and New Orleans style beignet.

Fair warning though, these homemade sweet treats are first come, first serve starting at 5 p.m., so don’t diddle daddle in traffic too long.

Owners Kathi Alexander and Cassmer Ward kick-started the business in September and have kept the road hot since, catering events all over Charlotte and working almost every weekend.


“We’ve been thrilled by the response from people who have tried our doughnuts,” Alexander says. “They’re willing to stand in line for them and keep coming back for more.”

She says that she has always wanted to start her own business since working in marketing, and pulling on her love for baking and the classic American doughnut has proven to be a success for her. “We really stand out in terms of our doughnut,” Alexander says. “It’s not a new concept. Americans have been eating doughnuts for decades but we’re doing it the right way, the way it started — homemade.”

SUGAR. uses only real butter, milk and cream in their recipes while also supporting local businesses like Pure Intentions Roasters in Charlotte for their on-truck coffee.

Alexander says that in starting the business, she got a lot of advice from local pastry experts and other food truck aficionados about the ins and outs of this unique culinary endeavor. Since hiring pastry professionals, Alexander doesn’t do a lot of food prep, but she is always in the kitchen and on the truck for every event. Most events require 200 doughnuts or more.

Currently, SUGAR. rents a kitchen in Uptown to do all the prep work for a typical day in the truck — prep work that often starts at 4 a.m. “We need a lot of space to make the dough,” Alexander says. “The max amount of people in the truck is five without killing each other.

At any given time, SUGAR. usually has six to eight flavors that they do well, but rotate new flavors weekly to keep things exciting.

Alexander says two of the most interesting events SUGAR. has catered were for folks working at local movie studios craving a midnight snack. John Green, the author of Paper Towns, a book that’s recently hit the big screen, was their first customer at the studio. Green ordered the infamous maple bacon doughnut (Alexander calls it "the right amount of sweet and salty") and even posted it on Instagram, garnering some great publicity for the budding business.

They are currently in the process of expanding SUGAR. to a retail shop in the Ballantyne area.

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