Until now, south Florida has been a little behind in the hand crafted doughnut craze that's sweeping the nation. From New York City, where hipsters stand in line for an hour for a Meyer lemon doughnut from Doughnut Plant to Portland, Oregon, where Voodoo Doughnuts has been featured on nearly every show on Food Network's roster, Homer Simpson's favorite treat is riding a wave of popularity. So where are the hand-made gourmet doughnuts in south Florida?
For now, they're all in a little strip mall shop in Pembroke Pines and these doughnuts contain enough mojo for the entire state.
Shawn and Shelly Neifeld opened Mojo Donuts
quietly in February on the corner of Pines Boulevard and University
Drive (7906 Pines Blvd.). The Neifelds owned a smoothie shop in
Lauderhill, but high rents forced them to close. Looking for another
endeavor, they decided to open a doughnut shop. Now, the couple wake up at 1
a.m. each day to make the sweet treats.
At first the little shop did well
with locals. But a shop that sells bacon and maple doughnuts can't stay
out of the public eye forever. Soon, there was a buzz. Then, Y-100 DJs
wanted a doughnut named after them (The Mack Attack,is a bacon and Nutella variety). Now, the entrepreneurs are so busy they don't even have
time to start a Twitter account.
The secret to their success?
"No one else is making gourmet doughnuts in south Florida," Shawn Neifeld
tells Clean Plate Charlie. "There are other places -- Dandee Donuts
makes a good product, but we're working with really interesting flavor
The varieties change daily, but when we were there
we spotted mango and cheese, guava and cheese, maple bacon, red velvet,
cinnamon cake, blueberry, raspberry glazed, classic glazed "Mojo
rising," chocolate and strawberry, Boston creme, and Key lime. The
doughnuts range from $1.09-$1.75 each. A dozen cost $12.99; a half
dozen are $6.99. Mojo Donuts also serves coffee, tea, and lattes.
the question is -- are they worth the hype? Well, we bought a
dozen and took them back to New Times offices for a taste test yesterday
afternoon. Walking through the door, the scent of freshly baked goods
acted as a siren song to a group of co-workers.
box did not belong to one of the two major chains in South Florida
and simply said, "You deserve a donut." We walked into the break room
with our entourage and opened the box. The assortment was simply
beautiful. "I just started the paleo diet today. I was so good, too,"
one of our editors said.
"I'm sure cavemen had bacon," another
writer said as plastic knives were drawn. A nanosecond later there was a
feeding frenzy as six women were pitted against a dozen "donuts". They never stood a chance. The verdict?
"This is the best
Boston Creme I've ever had in my life," said an editor. "The raspberry
glazed is just amazing", said a writer. "Mango? I'm in love." What didn't work was the maple bacon. "I've had better." Tough critics, these writers.
All in all,
the doughnuts were a huge success at our office. They'll be a hit
at yours. Or bring home a dozen for Easter brunch. (We hear there may be
special Peep-related treats on Sunday.) Mojo Donuts is open daily from 6
a.m. until they sell out (usually around 5 p.m.).
Springfield, Homer Simpson is weeping tears of joy.