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Blue Star Donuts to Launch with Saturday Giveaway

Jan 18, 2017 07:40AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

A Blue Star Donuts menu sampling

Blue Star Donuts, the Portland-based gourmet donut shop that has been dubbed "Donuts for Grownups," is set to open the doors of its Manhattan Beach location this weekend, starting with a donut giveaway on Saturday, January 21.

The donut shop, which took over the former True Religion location on Manhattan Beach Blvd., will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday offering free donuts (one per person) while supplies last. Regular hours will begin on Sunday from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., or until sold out.

"We chose Manhattan Beach because it's such a fantastic, family-oriented neighborhood," said co-founder Katie Poppe. "Our goal is to become a part of the community, and hopefully delicious donuts and coffee will put more than a few smiles on faces."

Poppe added: "The weather is obviously fantastic and makes for a great grab-and-go situation to get some donuts and head out to the beach, or the many other awesome activities around here. Our donuts are made fresh through out the day, and will stay delicious on their way to be enjoyed out and about."

Blue Star Donuts, founded in Portland, OR, in 2012, makes its donuts from a classic brioche recipe originating in the south of France. The dough takes 18 hours to prepare and is made by hand every day. Blue Star also uses cage-free eggs, whole hormone-free milk, as well as European-style butter. The donuts, glazes, and fillings are made fresh throughout the day, and are cooked only in rice oil.

Although flavors change seasonally, classic flavors include Hard Apple Cider Fritters, Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib, and Cointreau Creme Brulee. Flavors special to the Los Angeles stores include Strawberry Mojito Buttermilk and Ginger Blood Orange (a nod to California's bountiful citrus). Vegan options include Cranberry Spice, Matcha Latte, and Orange Olive Oil Cake.

"Some of our most popular flavors are the ones that might sound weird at first, but are actually incredible," said Poppe. "Our Passion Fruit Coca Nib is a juicy, tangy glaze with a hint of cayenne and dusted with cocoa nibs for a dark chocolate contrast, and our Blueberry Bourbon Basil - with fresh blueberries, fresh basil, and Bulleit Bourbon - was on the cover of Bon Appetit last year."

Donut prices will range from $3.25 to $4.50, with a traditional baker’s dozen (13 count) available. The Manhattan Beach location will also be the first Blue Star location to offer nitro cold brew coffee, as well as a variety of espresso beverages, in addition to its standard gourmet drip coffee.

"'Nitro' is cold brew coffee fused with nitrous oxide, which comes out chilled on tap like Guinness. It's incredibly smooth and rich, very silky - most people are shocked to learn that there's no cream or milk in it. It's also a bit stronger than espresso or drip coffee, because it's brewed for 24 hours," said Poppe. "I must warn you - it's very addicting!"

When asked for advice for "newbies" who have never tried Blue Star Donuts before, Poppe gave these three tips:

One: Don't be afraid to try the 'weird' donuts. "Our goal is to introduce and enamor our customers with the incredibly delicious and creative donut possibilities. At our other shops we have grown men with blueberry bourbon basil in their beards, and children demanding our habañero-spiced PB&J."

Two: Vegans can have their (cake) donuts and eat them too. "We typically have 4-5 vegan cake flavors, and people are amazed to find out they are vegan. We also have special limited edition seasonal and city-specific flavors - just ask our staff." 

Three: Get there early. "Our dough takes 18 hours to make, so when we run out, we're out for the day!"

Poppe and co-founder Micah Camden currently run 13 Blue Star Donuts locations in Portland, Japan, and in Venice, California. The donuts have been recognized as the best in Portland and the United States by Conde Nast, The Washington Post, and USA Today.

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