Foodies are flying in from as far away as Atlanta to get a taste of Southern California-based Donas, a pastel-hued wonderland of donuts showcasing the fusion of Mexican-American culture. Not only are the flavors and names nostalgic shout outs for Mexican-Americans, they use glitter to make their donuts very Instagram worthy.
Donut fans are in for a treat at Latino donut shop Donas. You can try horchata or mole donuts or take a bite out of a Selena-inspired dessert.
Owners Ashley and David Vazquez, along with Ashley’s younger sister Amber Bobadilla, have been able to turn a profit bringing the flavors they grew up eating to a wider sweet-toothed audience.
The sister duo and brother-in-law started churro and coffee shop Horchateria Rio Luna in 2016 and launched Donas in October last year.
“We want to show people, look, this is our culture and these are our flavors and what our people have to offer,” Bobadilla said.
When David asked Bobadilla if she wanted to help in turning his idea of opening a donut shop into a brick-and-mortar reality, she was all in.
“It’s beautiful and delicious,” Bobadilla said.
The name is a play on how all of our parents and grandparents say donuts.
“Everyone who speaks Spanish knows it,” Bobadilla said, adding that the Latino, Spanish-speaking community finds the name funny.
Besides the name, everything from the decor to the flavor concepts is all Bobadilla.
With no prior baking experience, she hired a baker to bring her donut creations to life. The results included fresh takes on childhood treats such as the paleta payaso donut, made with marshmallows and chocolate.
Bobadilla knew the she wanted to put glitter on a donut. Of course, once she found the sparkling purple edible glitter, she couldn’t resist.
Bobadilla just knew that she had found the special ingredient to create her Bidi Bidi Bom Bom donut. Plus, it makes for great photos.
Agua de horchata, crushed mazapan and coconut flakes are nestled next to strawberries, raisins and oats all help create the various Mexican concoctions.
She describes it as taking “flavors that transport you to your childhood and put it into a donut.”
One of the fan favorites is a donut she envisioned while watching her favorite guilty pleasure TV show and eating chicharrón (fried pork rinds.)
Bobadilla originally brought the idea to her family but was told it would be “gross.” She pushed the initial skepticism aside and said she believed it was going to work, and Donas customers agreed. It is one of the shop’s best selling donuts, according to Bobadilla.
Bobadilla’s resolve has been integral as an entrepreneur. She and her sister tried out various businesses landing on Horchateria and Donas.
“Donas is still a work-in-progress now. We want it to look amazing and be Instagram-worthy. ” And people are definitely coming in for those Insta Stories and #foodie finds.
Bobadilla also specially crafted the interior of her donut shop to enhance the experience for donut lovers.
She said she wanted the pastels to help make the shop stand out and be cute. The team is still experimenting with design, including painting an ice cream mural on its outer walls.
But the most important thing for Bobadilla is to inspire her community.
“The bigger mission is showing people from our communities, when you really put your mind to it and have a passion, [this is] what can come.”
Donas’ donuts range from $2.50 to $5.00 for specialty donuts and is located at 8636 Imperial Hwy in Downey, California.
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