Restaurant News & Reviews

Mojo Donuts is about to make this Miami-area city the ‘doughnut capital’

Mojo Donuts will open a third location inside the upcoming 3 Chefs and a Chicken in Coral Gables, near South Miami.
Mojo Donuts will open a third location inside the upcoming 3 Chefs and a Chicken in Coral Gables, near South Miami. Handout

South Miami is about to become the doughnut capital of South Florida.

Mojo Donuts, which brought its brand of wild flavors from Pembroke Pines to Westchester two years ago, will open a third location at one of the most visible intersections in South Florida.

It will share space with the upcoming 3 Chefs and a Chicken at the southeast corner of U.S. 1 and Red Road, technically in Coral Gables, but across the street from the heart of South Miami. There, Mojo will be within blocks of two other independent doughnut shops. Salty Donut, which started the gourmet doughnut craze in Miami, plans for a second location in South Miami, at the old Fox’s Lounge, not far from Honeybee Doughnuts, the first independent doughnut shop in South Miami.

And here’s a bonus: The former Wendy’s location at 6601 SW 57th Ave. — which sold for $9 million in 2015 — will include a spot for one of Miami’s best new ice cream makers, Sweet Melody. It has been serving its confections alongside Mojo Donuts at its Westchester store and at the Wharf on the Miami River. They expect to be open by the end of September.

“We’re really excited about it.We think it’s going to be an amazing place for us,” Mojo co-owner Jimmy Piedrahita said.

Mojo Donuts made a splash with sweets lovers when it opened in Pembroke Pines in 2013 with flavors like creme brulee with torched top, maple-bacon bars, guava and cheese and its 420 Munchies, a glazed yeast doughnut topped with chocolate, Snickers crumbles and potato sticks. They have developed more than 200 different recipes and display between 40-to-50 on any given day.

That’s where Piedrahita discovered them and talked the owners into letting him open a spot in Miami, where he added fried chicken to the menu. His fried chicken sandwich on a grilled doughnut was featured on Guy Fieri’s popular Food Network show, “Diners,Drive-ins and Dives.”

Piedrahita recently started expanding the Westchester store to make a permanent spot for Sweet Melody after customers loved the idea of having Mojo Donuts with a side of ice cream. Sweet Melody’s inventive flavor combinations include cheesecake ice cream with Maine blueberries; Belgian chocolate with brandy and chocolate cake and Gorgonzola ice cream with apple-fig jam and pralines.

“We are really diversifying the doughnut,” Piedrahita said.

That pits three doughnut shops in direct competition. But Piedrahita hopes each doughnut maker will develop its own loyal following.

“There’s room for everyone,” he said. “You can have any kind of doughnut you want. And I love it. I think it can only be good for everyone.”