by Ian Froeb
Cue your favorite Homer Simpson reference: St. Louis will soon be home to yet another independent doughnut shop. Business partners Corey Smale and Tyler Fenwick plan to open Strange Donuts this May at 2709 Sutton Boulevard in Maplewood.
Smale tells Gut Check that the inspiration for Strange Donuts is the new breed of hip (for lack of a better word) doughnut shops in such cities as Portland, Los Angeles and Austin. Specifically, he mentions Portland's Voodoo Doughnut, where you can find doughnuts topped with breakfast cereal and creations called the "Cock-N-Balls" and the "Old Dirty Bastard."
"St. Louis has a lot of really great doughnut shops," Smale says. "But there's not anyone doing what's being done in other cities."
"We want to re-create that here."
This is the first restaurant venture for Smale and Fenwick. Entrepreneurs, not chefs, they have enlisted as their baker a man whose nom de cake is Sweet Will, a veteran of the the Cup (28 South Maryland Plaza; 314-367-6111) and who now runs his own business, Sweet William's Custom Cakes. Smale explains that Strange Donuts will offer a dozen different doughnuts each week: "Six classic [varieties] to pay tribute to the old-school, six wild, new creations."
Strange Donuts is still several months from opening. Among many tasks, Smale and Fenwick must install an entire kitchen in their new space, a former hair salon. In the meantime, however, Strange Donuts already has a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account for updates and more information.