Brisbane's Doughnut Time is on the rise. Damian Griffiths opened his first doughnut shop in February between two of his venues, Alfredo's and Kwan Brothers, in Fortitude Valley. There were queues around the block and Instagram went into meltdown as sweet tooths shared pictures of glossy "Veruca Salt" (salted caramel filling with cinnamon sugar) and "Elvis" (jam filling with banana and peanut glaze and crisp pancetta) doughnuts in their retro pastel green boxes.
A mere nine months later, Griffiths' empire totals seven stores in Queensland – the freshest outlet opened in Surfers Paradise this week – in addition to "Barbara" the doughnut van. The brand has made its first incursion into Sydney with a pop-up Doughnut Time at Topshop in Market Street.
In the next few weeks Griffiths' east coast takeover will be on a roll with stores slated to open in Sydney's Newtown, Bondi and Chippendale before Doughnut Time heads further south and takes on Melbourne's Fitzroy and Hawthorn, plus two more pop-ups.
"It's totally ridiculous the way my life has been turned upside down by doughnuts," Griffiths says. "We started with a little hole-in-the-wall in the [Fortitude] Valley backstreets and it's been absolutely phenomenal how it's taken off."
Griffiths says despite the popularity of Doughnut Time and approaches from potential franchisees, he's going to keep the brand and stores to himself.
"I don't want to be Krispy Kreme but I plan to have stores all down the east coast, following the same model as in Brisbane – setting up production kitchens and dropping the doughnuts fresh into stores as we make them, so they are always fresh. My plan is to make Doughnut Time an iconic Australian brand."
Doughnut Time is located at Fortitude Valley; Brisbane CBD; Clayfield; Indooroopilly; Mermaid Beach; Surfers Paradise and Sydney CBD; doughnuttime.com.au