Max Santiago, Miami's doughnut king, is making a return to Miami with the opening of a new doughnut shop.
The shop, called Max'd Out Donuts, will open in the first quarter of 2022 at the Biscayne Commons shopping center in North Miami Beach.
Santiago is best known for his time at Salty Donut, has nearly three decades of pastry experience. Most recently, he opened Batch, the Cookie Company
in Fort Lauderdale, and has helped to open doughnut shops across the world, and has worked with Canadian chain, Tim Horton's on new flavors.
With all of his sweet successes, Santiago's goal was to always open a doughnut shop in Miami-Dade. "I've opened doughnut shops all over the world as a consultant, but my dream is to be the big doughnut guy in the big city." Santiago said he chose the North Miami Beach location to straddle the Miami community and the Fort Lauderdale following he has because of his cookie shop, Batch. "This is the furthest north I can make it and still be in the 305." Santiago enlisted the help of partners Roy Casiano and Enrique Santiago (who happens to be the baker's brother) to make his sweet dreams come true.
Santiago, who has created outrageous doughnut flavors in the past, wants to focus on classic doughnuts at Max'd Out. "We're not going to do a bunch of crazy, over-the-top doughnuts here. They're going to be the flavors you loved growing up. The classics made with quality ingredients."
Santiago says that the years spent consulting on doughnut shops have helped his baking skill set. "I've discovered new ingredients in my travels and my dough recipe is better than it's ever been."
The menu will offer about 14 different items daily — including 10 classic doughnuts, a cruller, and a coffee roll (think cinnamon roll with coffee flavoring). "No one does a coffee roll, anymore, laments Santiago, adding that he's thinking of turning the pastry into a "cafe con leche" roll.
Other staples include a cake old-fashioned doughnut with a buttermilk glaze, a Boston Cream, and an apple fritter with a brown butter glaze and a hint of salt. Santiago also plans to have several vegan selections on the menu. In addition, the doughnut maker will introduce a new doughnut flavor weekly, so regulars always have something new to discover. "I want this to be a neighbor doughnut shop," he adds.
Max'd Out will serve coffee from Great Circle Coffee Roasters, a fourth-generation coffee roaster based in Miami. "Their family owns a coffee plantation in Guatemala and they source the best beans," says Santiago, adding that only a few select establishments — like Zak the Baker and Sullivan Street Bakery — use their coffees. In addition, Santiago will source his jams and local fruit from local vendors from Homestead. "I'll do everything I can to support local people," he adds.
The shop, itself, will have a 70s feel with a large banquette in yellows and browns. "The yellow says sunshine to me and the brown — well, that reminds me of a delicious, baked doughnut," says Santiago. Local artist Surge
designed the logo based on one of Santiago's actual doughnuts.
Santiago says that this project feels the most personal — and, in some respects, the most challenging. He confides that opening a bakery during a pandemic with worldwide supply chain issues has been challenging. "We're scrambling for equipment to come in and it's taking forever. Some of the lead times are four to six months and items have tripled in price." He says that, despite the additional expense, the shop is a labor of love between the three partners. "This is the most involved I've ever been with an opening and I wouldn't have it any other way."
The baker also said he wants Max'd Out to be a place where people want to work. "My staff comes first. If you're not taking care of your staff, you won't have success."
To that, Santiago says there are four things that are key to keeping employees satisfied. First, pay well and give incentives. Then, make the workplace a happy place to come to. Santiago adds that providing the proper tools and equipment is important, and finally — providing free parking. "It sounds like the silliest thing, but paying to park your car can really bite into someone's paycheck."
Santiago says allowing people to learn and grow is equally important. "It's so much fun for me to teach someone baking. It makes it exciting for me, again."
Max'd Out Donuts.14777 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach; @maxdoutdonuts
. Opening early 2021.