Xuan Guerrero and Denise Diaz recalled the first time they came across the small, white-and-blue food truck with a round sign that read “The Salty Donut Artisanal Donut Shoppe & Coffee Bar.”
They were in Wynwood and the truck was surrounded by crowds lined up to get the chef-made, artisanal doughnuts. After a few months of visiting, the only change Guerrero and Diaz noticed was how much longer the line got each week.
“We truly know of no other location that can offer such delicious treats,” Diaz said. “We also love that they have new doughnuts weekly. How can one not want to come back?”
After a few visits, Guerrero, 29, and Diaz, 32, met owners Andy Rodriguez, 28, and Amanda Pizarro, 23, or as Guerrero and Diaz like to call Pizarro, “The Salty Donut Mom.”
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“The employees are also so sweet, especially the Salty Donut Mom. She’s been nothing but great, always asking how one is. If they anticipate running out [of doughnuts] before your turn comes up, they offer a free drink on your next visit for the inconvenience,” Guerrero said.
Pizarro and Rodriguez opened the pop-up shop in December and are still in awe of their success.
“It feels surreal that we have become so popular in such a short time,” said Pizarro. “We are making these doughnuts with love, and our team puts so much heart into everything we do. I feel that’s why our customers keep on coming back.”
Another reason: These donuts have a little kick. Spiked donut holes with a rotating shot of liquor reductions. Peach brioche drizzled with bourbon. And maple bacon donuts infused with beer.
Pizarro, Rodriguez and executive chef Max Santiago, formerly of the Thompson Hotel and Lure Fishbar, worked for two years to bring the shop to life. They have grown to a staff of 15, and plan to move into a permanent spot at 50 NW 24th St. sometime over the summer.
The idea came to the couple during a road trip to different states.
“We traveled around the country and saw how in places like California, New York and other big cities, there was a bloom of artisanal doughnut shops,” Pizarro said. “We felt that it was time for Miami to be a part of it.”
Rodriguez has a business background, and his focus is on finance and operations. Pizarro designs everything from the boxes and cups, to the photos posted on social media. They have more than 18,000 followers on Instagram.
“Not only do we sell doughnuts and coffee, but we want to make sure they are aesthetically pleasing as well,” Pizarro said.
Pizarro hopes to create a family-friendly environment, where everyone feels welcome.
“Attention to detail is key — from the music we play in the shop to making sure we get to know our customers. Some of them have become friends,” Pizarro said.
Joseph Cyrus, 27, and twin brothers Shaun and Shane Paisley, 28, joined the line for the first time on a recent Sunday. More than 100 people ahead of them, they patiently waited for almost two hours.
“Everyone is talking about these doughnuts. I want to see if all the hype is true,” said Cyrus, who heard about it from a friend. “Even if it means standing in this heat for hours.”
Cyrus ordered every single item offered on the chalk-drawn menu. The Paisley brothers ordered two each.
Cyrus took his first bite into the Maple Bacon, a 24-hour raised brioche doughnut with pure maple glaze, J. Wakefield Porter reduction and Miami Smokers bacon bits.
“This doughnut is life-changing. I’m a customer for life,” Cyrus said.