Decatur doughnut shop features natural ingredients

The shop offers more than 20 varieties, some vegan or low-gluten. Photo by Donna Turner

Inside the Revolution Doughnuts shop in Decatur, customers are greeted by the sight of colorful trays of doughnuts behind the glass counter. Those colors, owner Maria Riggs assured, are all natural, as are the flavors and all ingredients.

“OK, our doughnuts aren’t health food,” she acknowledged, “but no doughnuts are. What we sell is real food—hand crafted by people, not machines. Most doughnut shops use pre-made dough or a mix that’s shipped in. We make everything from scratch. We want to remind people of the doughnuts their grandmas used to make in the kitchen or that they used to get from a local small-town bakery. You’ll never find that taste at a chain doughnut shop.”

The word Revolution is in the name, the websites explains, to reflect the fact that the food is all made with organic flour, local dairy from grass-fed cows, fresh fruit, natural flavor extracts and 100 percent trans-fat free vegetable oils. In fact, some offerings are vegan and use no dairy or eggs.

Riggs, who’s originally from California, said she’s not a professional baker and is largely self-taught though she has been mentored by experienced bakers. “I worked in a bake shop and learned a lot there,” she said, noting that among the things she learned was an appreciation for farm-to-table food that’s tasty and has a home baked quality.

Some Revolution Doughnuts customers are such fans they proclaim their fondness with a T-shirt. Photo by Donna Turner

The first shop Riggs and her husband opened in the area offered a variety of baked goods, but, she said, doughnuts were their most popular menu item. She said that although their first business in downtown Atlanta did not succeed, it provided a valuable learning experience. “When we opened this place, we decided to focus on doughnuts,” she said. The Decatur shop opened on in 2012 on June 1, National Doughnut Day.

The decision to open the shop in Decatur was initially driven by a desire to work near home and her child’s school, she explained. “I have a child in the Decatur school system; it’s great to be able to leave here and be three minutes from the school,” Riggs said, adding that the location has worked out well.

Owner Maria Riggs says all her products are made from scratch. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

“People around here are really into food. They read labels. They shop at farmers markets. They like to know what they’re eating,” she said, explaining that her doughnuts are also available at farmers markets in Decatur, East Atlanta and Grant Park.

Riggs said that many doughnuts at Revolution are appropriate for special diets such as vegan, nut-free or low gluten. “Approximately 80 percent of our doughnuts are vegan friendly. That’s one advantage of making everything from scratch—we know what’s in it,” she commented.

The menu includes more than 20 varieties of doughnuts, in both yeast and cake style, including vanilla bean, toasted almond, shredded coconut, fresh peach slider, dark chocolate and orange pistachio. Judging from online comments, the caramel-glazed doughnut with bacon is a particular favorite. The shop also offers coffee from a local fair trade provider whose product is organic and shade grown.

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The small shop extends to a patio, where on pleasant days some patrons like to sit outside. On the morning of Oct. 31 most tables inside and outside were filled and the line at the counter was long. “I’m going to have to make a note of that,” Riggs said. “People like to go out for doughnuts on Halloween.”

There were lots of small children running around as their parents sipped coffee and ate doughnuts—and Riggs said that’s the way she likes it. “We work at making the place family friendly. We even put a little child-size play kitchen in the dining area where children can play.”

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