There aren't too many things that go together better than coffee and doughnuts, and for South Florida entrepreneurs Davin Tran and Athan "Tom" Prakas -- two men looking to reinvent the traditional doughnut-and-coffee experience -- that's just what Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee will do best. The new family of doughnut and coffee shops has already targeted several locations to open across Broward and Palm Beach County within the next year, beginning with two shops in Fort Lauderdale and one in Boca Raton, each one specializing in chef-inspired pastries, doughnuts and craft-brewed coffee.
One thing Tran and Prakas want you to keep in mind: These are not your daddy's doughnuts. Both South Florida residents, they shared a similar vision and saw a need for a coffee shop that offered more than the Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts down the road.
"Take all your preconceived notions about doughnut and coffee shops and throw them out the window," said Prakas. "We're pushing the limits of innovation and creativity with the best-tasting doughnuts you'll ever have. Our craft-brewed, small-batch-roasted coffee is the perfect complement."
Each 1,000 square foot store will receive doughnuts from an off-site doughnut-making facility in Sunrise, which will be able to service as many as 10 stores, making up to 10,000 doughnuts daily -- about 1,000 doughnuts per day, per store at a minimum, said Tran. The Rhino kitchen will also prepare orders for off-site sales, including area country clubs and convenience stores.
But what makes Rhino different than your average doughnut?
"A lot of doughnuts out there are just pre-mixed dough topped with commercially-made glazes and fillings," said Tran during a recent interview. "Our [doughnuts] are actually being made by our own corporate chef, who has developed each recipe from scratch. There's such huge difference when everything is made from scratch using real ingredients."
From gourmet glazes to fresh ingredients, the difference is tangible, said Prakas. An example: The key lime doughnut where real key limes are used in the batter and filling, a custard that will be made fresh daily. Another signature find would be the homemade maple bacon glaze paired with a specialty smoked apple wood bacon.
Rhino will begin with several staples -- doughnuts that will be their trademark offerings -- including the maple bacon, creme brûlée and the Rhino "horn," their own version of the croissant-doughnut. In addition to seasonal specials, there will also be a variety of homemade muffins, sticky buns and cinnamon buns.
For a special treat, look for two unique items, the Rhino Doughnut Sundae made with a doughnut of your choice, topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, and dressed like a traditional sunday. There's also the Rhino Dough-Shake, their own version of a Blizzard; just pick a doughnut, and it's blended with ice cream and milk for the ultimate shake.
The food won't be the only thing that sets Rhino apart, however. The hip atmosphere will be unparalleled, according to Tran and Prakas.
"When you walk into our store, you're going to think 'Wow, I never knew a doughnut store could look like this," said Prakas. "We'll have a unique display, not that metal wrack you're used to seeing. You can literally walk up to the doughnut and see everything about it, including a description with ingredients, how it was made. It's different than anything you've ever seen."
Complementing the assortment of artisanal doughnuts will be Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee's signature blends of craft-brewed coffee, made with 100% Fair Trade beans roasted using the small batch method. This specialty process highlights the distinctive flavor characteristics of the beans. Every batch is custom roasted to order per Rhino's strict specifications, and you can taste the difference in every cup. Guests will also enjoy iced coffee, painstakingly made for optimal taste. Custom orders, catering, and doughnut and coffee parties to go will also be available.
Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee will also boast South Florida's most exciting doughnut delivery trucks, each store equipped with its own fleet to bring custom orders and doughnut-coffee catering to your door. For more information visit the website, or call 1 (855) RHINO74. visitwww.rhinodoughnuts.com.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.
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