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Bringing big city-style treats to Sheboygan

Sunday Dough offers out-of-the-box donut flavors to community

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April 3, 2024

SHEBOYGAN — For those looking for a morning sweet treat in the area — donut look further.

Sunday Dough, located at 1402 S. 8th St. in Sheboygan, provides a wide array of different donuts for customers to choose from.

Owner Laura Andrews — who opened the business’s brick-and-mortar opened last July — said having a donut shop of her own has been a dream of hers for several years.

“I wanted to open a donut shop for- probably six years,” she said.

Living in the Twin Cities at the time, the Sheboygan native said she didn’t see a need for another donut shop there, since the area already has “so many great donut shops.”

It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic, Andrews said, that she realized her dream of owning a donut shop could fill a need in another area — her hometown.

“My husband and I were both working from home (during the pandemic), so we decided to move back to Sheboygan,” she said. “That’s when I realized Sheboygan needed a donut shop like Sunday Dough.”

When starting the shop, Andrews said it was her goal to bring something “a little bit more fun and interesting” to the Sheboygan area, with all the fun flavors one can find in the bigger cities.

Sunday Dough, she said, got its start as an in-home business at the end of 2022.

“I was doing it there for probably four or five months before we got our permanent space,” she said. “It was crazy busy doing it out of my home kitchen — we grew out of it so fast because everybody was excited.”

Deciding to take the next step in her business and open a brick-and-mortar storefront, Andrews said, came at a perfect time for both her and the community.

“I wanted to do it, and Sheboygan needed it,” she said.

The move into Sunday Dough’s current space, she said, also led to her leaving her previous employment to dedicate herself to the shop full-time.

Not your average donut
Sunday Dough, Andrews said, offers a variety of unique flavors for customers to choose from — many outside of the box for what people may consider typical donut flavors.

“We’ve got eight flavors at any one time — six core flavors we’ve got all the time- and then we rotate in two new flavors every month,” she said.

Core flavors include strawberry shortcake, maple french toast, lemon cheesecake, s’more, vanilla sprinkle and cereal milk.

Laura Andrews said Sunday Dough’s donut flavors are more out of the box than traditional flavors, such as this lavender lemonade donut pictured, front left. Photo Courtesy of Sunday Dough

The fan favorite by far, Andrews said, is the lemon cheesecake donut.

“Everybody loves that donut,” she said. “That’s my favorite. That’s my husband’s favorite.”

The vanilla sprinkle donut, Andrews said, is “a little bit elevated from your traditional donut.”

“It’s filled with a marshmallow frosting, and then completely covered in sprinkles and vanilla glaze,” she said. “Kids love that donut- you can see their eyes immediately laser in on that donut.”

Some of the shop’s past monthly featured donuts, Andrews said, have included cookie butter, hot chocolate, lavender lemonade and Twix.

Creating the dough for the fried pastries, she said, was “the hardest but most fun part.”

“I do not have any professional culinary experience,” she said. “I was a server in college — that’s the closest I come to having actual restaurant experience. So, it’s been a lot of playing around.”

In the beginning, back when the idea to start a donut shop sprouted, Andrews said she started by frying grand biscuits.

“Before I started playing around with actual dough, that’s what I would do,” she said. “I would play around with the toppings.”

When Andrews and her husband made the move back to Sheboygan and she began to think more seriously about opening a shop, she said she started playing around with recipes she would find on YouTube — eventually landing on a brioche dough.

“I tried cronuts,” she said. “I tried doing the traditional donut — and then I landed on our brioche dough, and collected probably three or four different recipes- I tried a few different versions and then found the one I loved and went for it.”

Andrews said it caught her by surprise when customers with culinary backgrounds would ask what mix or suppliers she uses.

“I think what’s interesting is — probably because I don’t have a culinary background — so many people who come (to the shop) who have worked in a bakery or know a bit more about the industry, honestly, than I do, they always ask, ‘what mix do you use?’ or ‘who is your supplier for your buttercream?'” she said. “The first time I was asked that, I was like a deer in the headlights.. I was like, ‘what do you mean? You mean you can get mixes and pre-made stuff?'”

Though making everything from scratch may be more time-consuming than using pre-made dough, Andrews said that’s part of what makes Sunday Dough a delicious success.

“The No. 1 comment I get — my favorite one to get from people — is (the donuts) are not overly sweet,” she said. “If you go to a lot of donut shops like us, the donuts can be sickly sweet because they are typically using those pre-made things that don’t need to be refrigerated, and so they’re packed with sugar and that preservative, and we don’t have that.”

Low waste, high demand
At Sunday Dough, Andrews said she works hard to make sure the business produces as little waste as possible.

The shop partners with a local company that she said helps compost a lot of its paper products, egg shells and other items.

“A lot of the production process is waste-free — as much as we possibly can,” she said. “There are some things you can’t help but get in a plastic bag — and it drives me crazy — but we continue to look for and source different ways to do that.”

The owner said she is also working on sourcing a more eco-friendly coffee cup.

“When I was doing it out of the house, it was easy to manage waste because the only thing I was giving people was our pink paperboard box that is compostable-” she said. “They do make compostable, fake plastic cups, but we don’t have anywhere in the area that can compost that kind of stuff.”

Andrews said keeping tabs on the shop’s food waste is very important for her.

“We have low to no food waste at the end of the day-” she said.

If you come into Sunday Dough at noon, Andrews said “we probably don’t have any donuts left.”

“We try to make enough donuts for that day (only) so we don’t have to get rid of them at the end of the day,” she said. “Again, because everything is from scratch and preservative-free, they’re not meant to last. We don’t do ‘day-olds.'”

One of April’s specialty flavors for the month is Circus Cookie. Photo Courtesy of Sunday Dough

This, Andrews said, is why she heavily encourages her customers to use Sunday Dough’s pre-order option.

“We sell out early — we intend to sell out every single day,” she said. “So, if you’re coming in, pre-ordering on our website is easy. You have your pick of any flavor we’ve got and you don’t have to worry about showing up and that one flavor you were hoping to try is gone, or we have no donuts left on the counter.”

Because the dough takes about 24 hours to set, Andrews said same-day pre-orders are not available.

“Planning ahead, especially if you’re traveling, is important,” she said.

Sunday traditions
The name Sunday Dough, Andrews said, was inspired by her move back to Sheboygan.

“We were used to the big city (where) everything was open every day of the week,” she said. “And then we move to Sheboygan, and everywhere is closed on Sundays- that’s everybody’s day to hang with their families, which is fine.”

However, Andrews said it led her to start her tradition of making donuts on Sundays to fill that gap.

“When I started (Sunday Dough) out of the house, it was the idea of, ‘okay, I’m sharing my Sunday habit with other people,'” she said. “‘(I would start by being) open Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the eventual goal of being open every day.'”

Since opening the brick-and-mortar store, Andrews said Sundays are “by far our biggest day of the week.”

Culinary Star of the Year
Less than a year after opening Sunday Dough’s brick-and-mortar location, the shop was awarded the Culinary Star of the Year award by the Sheboygan County Chamber, which Andrews said “was a welcome surprise.”

Sunday Dough was awarded the Culinary Star of the Year award by the Sheboygan County Chamber. Photo Courtesy of Sunday Dough

“It was an honor, especially with me not having that culinary background to know that outside of the food, people enjoy coming in,” she said. “It’s added a fun touch for bringing people who aren’t from Sheboygan into Sheboygan- It’s been cool to bring people into the city I grew up in, and it’s different from when I grew up and it’s fun to now be a part of it.”

Receiving the award, Andrews said, also reassured her that people were happy to welcome Sunday Dough into the community.

“It helped me feel like I had a place in this business community,” she said. “It was amazing. I teared up a little.”

Sunday Dough is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

For more on the shop, visit its Facebook page.

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