Restaurant News & Reviews

The Salty Donut artisan shop to open permanent location in Wynwood

Chloe Lecusay enjoys a maple bacon donut as she talks to Joey Bodovetz.
Chloe Lecusay enjoys a maple bacon donut as she talks to Joey Bodovetz. For the Miami Herald

Less than a year after it opened as a weekend pop-up shop in Wynwood, Miami’s popular artisan donut shop known as The Salty Donut is here to stay.

Due to high demand for the brioche-style desserts — more than 25 people at a time are often waiting to get into the corner store — owners Amanda Pizarro, her fiancé Andy Rodriguez and pastry chef Max Santiago have decided to move into a permanent location.

“We already intended to have our own store. We had already signed a lease for our store, but the building that we were going in — which is this building — was a little bit delayed with construction, so we started out of necessity just to get going and we were so excited,” said Rodriguez, 29, who estimates the store will be ready in about a month, just in time for Art Basel.

During Art Basel 2015, The Salty Donut was presented to the public in a trailer, selling flavors such as maple bacon, traditional glazed and guava and cheese, that could be accompanied with coffee.

The mobile shop quickly became popular and after six months the business transitioned to its current location, 50 NW 24th St. in Wynwood, where they’re open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

At the permanent store, which doesn’t have an exact opening date, customers will be able to satisfy their sweet tooths and donut cravings seven days a week.

The new shop will be in the same building, between Northwest 23rd and 24th streets, but the store entrance will be on Northwest 23rd Street.

With more days and more donuts to sell, Rodriguez, Pizarro and Santiago look to reduce line waiting times and to continue improving the customers’ experience, which is ultimately their biggest focus.

“From the start, when someone waits in line, until they get their donut, until they finish their donut and go home, everything is super important to us, because anybody can serve a good product, but it’s about the experience behind it. We do have donuts, and they are amazing, but it’s the whole experience of getting them,” said Pizarro, 24, a University of Miami student majoring in marketing and minoring in accounting.

Both Pizarro and Rodriguez consider themselves “foodies” who travel often and seek meals and snacks at every location they visit – especially donuts and coffee.

In 2013, the Miami natives initiated the idea and spoke about the possibility of opening a donut shop in their home city.

Santiago, 40, was initially hired as consultant. Five months before opening The Salty Donut, he joined as co-owner.

While Pizarro and Rodriguez brainstorm on unique flavors, Santiago brings them to life in every donut.

The menu lists 10 different kinds of donuts, three varieties of donut holes and 10 different coffee flavors. Seasonal donuts also vary in flavors and colors. Currently, The Salty Donut sells pumpkin, and a pink ribbon donut for breast cancer awareness. Prices for a donut vary from $2.25 to $5.25.

Their most popular donut is maple bacon, made with maple glaze, Miami smokers bacon ‘cracklings,’ and JWakefield Porter redux. The couple say it’s like no other they’ve ever tried.

Rachael Salzer heard about The Salty Donut through her friend Ale Azor, and they both decided to try it out.

“It’s very fluffy, it’s light, it’s very good [and] fresh,” said Salzer, who ordered the brown-butter-and-salt flavor and the pecan ‘pie’ cannoli donuts.

Dolly Wirth’s favorite flavor is guava and cheese.

“I’ve been to The Salty Donut twice,” said Wirth, who drove from Fort Lauderdale. “What I like most is the variety.”