To be fair, it’s a story we’ve seemingly all heard many times before. A street food operation, born out of lockdown and redundancy, the opportunity for someone to pursue something that they’ve never had the chance before.
There really is no way to understate just how much of a positive impact the pandemic has had on the proliferation of smaller, independent food and drink offerings in the city, and although it’s been horrible for most hospitality venues – the extra time, furlough and opportunity has come together to create some wonderfully creative food businesses.
And thus we get onto DGHNT, the brainchild of Sulin Baldwin, a woman who, jobless during lockdown, wanted to do her own thing and take her career as a chef to the next level. It’s here where she struck on the idea of doughnuts – and a chance encounter with a friend whose birthday was coming up.
The friend wanted a birthday cake, “which wasn’t a cake” – so Sulin came upon the idea of making it out of doughnuts, and it was (as you’d expect) a massive hit. Starting things off as a novice; frying the doughnuts in her wok, she quickly built up her skills and is now a bonafide expert. The Yoda of the doughnut world.
She’s went on to create DGHNT – quite possibly the most Instagrammable and tastiest doughnuts in the city. Sulin does delivery and collection on her creations every week, and they’re also stocked in a variety of cafes and shops throughout Greater Manchester.
Factory Coffee at the bottom of King Street stocks them, as does the excellent Kiosk on Lapwing Lane in Didsbury and Monton’s Wandering Palate.
The sheer number of variations, flavours and combinations on offer at DGHNT is what really sets them apart from anywhere else, with regular specials to match events and seasons. Sulin’s offering changes every single month, with upcoming flavours including a Hot Cross Bun Doughnut for Easter, and even doughnuts shaped like BOOBS for International Women’s Day, of which 50% of the proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Research.
When we popped down this week we thoroughly enjoyed her Miso Salted Caramel, with a chocolate topping and miso salted caramel base, and, probably my most favourite ever; Black Cocoa Brownie with Dutch black cocoa giving it an intense chocolate flavour and black colour.
Sulin also introduced us to her ‘Willy Wonka Chocolate Box‘, where she’ll be hiding one GOLDEN TICKET in one of the boxes – giving the lucky recipient a box of doughnuts every month for a year.
With such an impressive offering, we asked Sulin how she comes up with her unique flavours and designs; “I tend to do a LOT of research,” she says, “deconstructing cakes and looking to see what flavours I feel are in at the moment.”
“I tend to try to stay well away from the most common and overdone flavours like Biscoff, and look at more unusual ones.”
“My current favourite flavours are Ruby Chocolate which was only discovered around 10 years ago or so, and it’s all-natural flavouring, colour and with no additives. It has a tart/sweet and sour/floral/berry taste to it that’s totally unique. I’m also a big fan of the Sea Salt Cookies & Cream doughnut at the moment too!”
To say that DGHNT has been a success so far is certainly an understatement, and Sulin eventually wants to start looking at potential premises in South Manchester – but at the moment – it’s all about those important deliveries and collections.
Sulin is keen to stress that although there are venues that stock her exquisite doughnuts, if you go directly through her (DM on Instagram) – you’ll have the full range of flavours available to you – plus anything new that she’ll undoubtedly be working on.
Running from Tuesday – Saturday, you can collect from the Northern Quarter, and she also does weekly deliveries to Chorlton, Didsbury, Sale and Timperley.
To order your DGHNTs – head on over to Sulin’s Instagram and get DMing away…