There was a hole in Durham's food scene, apparently, that needed to be filled. Enter Monuts Donuts (www.monutsdonuts.com), the city's latest street food purveyor, serving homemade doughnuts from a giant tricycle.
The one-woman business is run by Lindsay Moriarty, known as Mo, who grew up surrounded by culinary imagination. As a kid, while her father worked as a chef during the day, Mo practiced baking and would prepare a tea party for him when he arrived home from work, accented by her kitchen concoctions. As an adult, she joked about pastry school, though her parents—familiar with the exhausting grind of food business—dissuaded her.
She went on to complete two master's degrees—one in public health, the other in regional and city planning—all the while keeping a doughnut journal and working on her master's paper focused on local food truck policy. With no luck finding a job upon graduating in May 2011, the 26-year-old perfected her recipes for both yeast and cake doughnuts and set out to create a crazy business with crazy flavor. For added effect, she's got "Master Master Donuteer" on her business cards.
Her fall flavor inspirations include sweet potato, apples, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. Heaping handful-sized doughnuts go for $1.50 each and $12.50 a dozen. You can order them in bulk online for set delivery times. Moriarty bakes out of The Cookery and will debut the trike and the goods at BrewDurham on Oct. 15 and at Casbah on Oct. 23. You can also catch her giving away free "mohos," or doughnut holes, at Golden Belt's Friday art walk next week.
She hopes to take whimsical trips through town on Sunday mornings once the business is up and running. "I like the idea of going to different neighborhoods, so I can roll in my bicycle and have the same effect as an ice cream truck in the summertime."
Berenbaum's bakery also sells homemade doughnuts sporadically. Catch them near Ninth Street Bakery, where the doughnuts are made. And bikeCOFFEE is officially set up as a bike, soon to be roaming the streets with single-origin pour-overs and inventive combinations. Try the hot Moctezuma (Guatemalan nuahala with dulce de leche and cayenne) or the iced Middle Eastern (a mocha blend with organic cardamom, pure vanilla and rose). Both purveyors join Monuts Donuts at Motorco's Bloody Brunch on Oct. 30.
Newcomers from Brooklyn Ali Rudel and Ben Filippo of This & That Jam (www.thisandthatjam.com) have relocated to Chapel Hill. The young couple's repertoire includes jarred delectables that rival gourmet international recipes—Valencia orange and black pepper marmalade; roasted pepita (pumpkin seed) and honey butter spread; pickled eggplant tinged with cinnamon, clove and star anise. While the actual business side is still in the works here, the pair is focused on promoting food access to low-income, at-risk and refugee populations and teaching classes on how to grow and can your own food.
Filippo taught Brooklyn youths about cooking and nutrition before taking an AmeriCorps job with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle here in the Triangle this past summer. Rudel worked at a Brooklyn bakery specializing in pies. Now she's expecting their first child and working on growing the business with Filippo.
"Without the basic utility of canning and preserving your own goods, sustainability of America's food future is impossible," Filippo says.
They've teamed up with Duke Campus Farm to provide their first canning workshop on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m. Payment is on a sliding scale.
"I saw a workshop advertised at $45 for pepper canning," Rudel says. "I can't even afford that. We're trying to keep costs very minimal. It's about getting the skill out there. For $5, I want a family to come with as many kids and learn." For more info, visit their website.