Food Notes: Guru Donuts is poised to grow

doland@idahostatesman.comOctober 11, 2013 

guru, donuts, voodoo,

Guru Donuts has made a sweet splash in Boise. With their wholesale kitchen in the Garro Building, they’re branching out with more outlets carrying their delicious doughnuts, and they’re moving toward their own storefront. Pictured here from left: co-owner Kevin Moran, baker Heather Ward and co-owner Michael Baker display a selection of their decadent flavors.

KATHERINE JONES — kjones@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Boise’s increasingly eclectic food scene has given rise to a fresh, gourmet doughnut phenomenom: Guru Donuts is revolutionizing the idea of fried dough with a hole.

Ever tried a key lime pie doughnut? Or how about one inspired by Bart Simpson’s love of Butterfingers or a banana cream pie? There are Guru doughnuts flavored like s’mores and maple-glazed bacon, and savory varieties that taste like jalapeno poppers or Hawaiian pulled pork.

Guru Donuts’ luscious, glazed creations are attracting a legion of followers who crave their creative flavors and high-end, fresh, local ingredients.

The business has taken off as if by magic, says Angel Moran, part of the Guru team that includes her husband, Kevin, and friend and neighbor Michael Baker.

“Things have been happening so fast,” Angel Moran says. “It’s been less than a year since we started.”

The Morans moved to Boise in 2008 from the Los Angeles area, where they worked in the music industry for many years. They fell in love with the city on a visit to see a friend and “moved here without any idea of what we would do,” Angel Moran says.

Kevin Moran started working as the music director at Radio Boise while the couple got their feet on the ground. On a trip to Portland, they visited Voodoo Doughnut, an edgy shop with locations in Portland and Eugene, Ore. That experience sparked the idea of opening a boutique doughnut shop in Boise.

They started Guru in the basement kitchen of their North End home in 2012 with help from Baker, who lives across the street and literally grew up in his parents’ doughnut shop in Colorado. They found a fryer on Craigslist, began developing their dough recipe and things took off, with word of mouth helping them along.

They moved from their home to a shared space with Kanak Attack Katering in Garden City and began selling doughnuts at the new Boise Farmers Market in April.

In August, they moved into their own commercial kitchen in the basement of the Garro Building, 816 W. Bannock St., in Downtown Boise. Kevin Moran plans to leave his Radio Boise job at the end of the month to focus all of his attention on Guru.

They’re playing with new recipes, including some savory ones, and getting new equipment that will allow them to triple their output. The trick is not to grow too quickly.

“We want to stay small,” Angel Moran says. “We’re not faster. We’re not cheaper. But we’re better quality and that’s how we want to stay.”

Guru Donuts come in 15 different varieties and in all kinds of twisty-good shapes. They even have vegan doughnuts. You can find Guru Donuts at The Record Exchange, The Crux, Dawson Taylor, the Boise Farmers Market (through October), and Roosevelt Market (on Fridays). They’ll also be sold at the Boise Co-op this fall.

You can stop by their Friday pop-up shop from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. starting Oct. 11 in the Garro space. You can also place your order at GuruDonuts.com or by calling (208) 571-7792.

Their donuts are on the menu at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Downtown Boise, where Baker works in the kitchen. They’re also building relationships with local hotels.

Moran is hoping to secure a retail storefront in the Garro Building in the next few weeks, she says. If not there, it will be somewhere nearby, she says.

Most Guru doughnuts are $1.50, but they can cost as much as $4 for multiple glazes, candy toppings, bars and fritters. Standard Guru doughnuts are $18 for a dozen ($22 for vegan), or you can put together a custom order that might cost as much as $36.

CONVERGE AT BAM

Before Khinde Wiley’s “The World Stage” multi-cultural exhibit of large-scale portraits closes, the Boise Art Museum will celebrate the confluence of culture, cuisine, art and music with Converge, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at BAM, 670 Julia Davis Drive.

You’ll find fusion cuisine from local restaurants, a no-host bar and performances by six local DJs. It’s $15 general, $10 for members in advance; and $20 and $15 at the door.

The proceeds will benefit the museum’s education programs.

NEW DUTCH BROS.

Dutch Bros. Coffee will open its fourth location in Meridian at 5072 N. Linder Road on Oct. 12. Stop by between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. on opening day and receive a free 16-ounce specialty coffee drink, smoothie, freeze or private-label, flavor-infused energy drink.

The drive-through coffee chain out of Oregon now has 17 Idaho locations, including 13 in the Treasure Valley. Dutch Bros. locations are open 5 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.

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