The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, September 05, 2018 1:00 am

Friends partner on Desert Donuts

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | For The Journal Gazette

Jada Carpenter and Tiffany Brown are best friends. They are the kind of friends who can finish each other's sentences, excitedly chatting about the business they own together – Desert Donuts.

Desert Donuts is relatively new to the Fort Wayne food scene, springing up just four months ago. But in the age of social media, Carpenter and Brown have created a following for their unique – maybe even eccentric – creations.

Calling them a cross between a cupcake and a doughnut, the baked goods come in flavors such as The Chip (vanilla doughnut, chocolate chips and potato chips) and Smooth as Tennessee Whiskey (caramel doughnut with vanilla bourbon icing).

And for a Texas-themed pop-up at The Find, 133 W. Wayne St., on Saturday, Carpenter and Brown will be serving southwest-inspired doughnuts such as a prickly pear margarita and pecan pie.

The doughnuts will be available from 11 a.m. to whenever they sell out, which sometimes takes just an hour, the friends say.

The popularity of the doughnuts has come as a bit of a surprise to Carpenter and Brown, who weren't sure what to expect when they launched the business from a private kitchen this year.

Carpenter was inspired to start Desert Donuts with interesting flavor combinations after a trip to Virginia, where she was able to visit Duck Donuts. Popular on the East Coast, Duck Donuts allows visitors to create their own treat by selecting the doughnut, icing flavor and toppings.

“Fort Wayne has nothing like this,” Carpenter says.

As Carpenter and Brown had always discussed starting a business and enjoyed baking for families, the two put their creativity together to begin the company.

There was a lot of trying things out in the beginning – “every single thing about this has been trial and error,” Carpenter says – but they developed a base recipe from which they could create unique flavors and combinations.

The goal was to be inspired by Duck Donuts and other shops, such as Voodoo Donuts on the West Coast, but with their own quirky ideas.

In addition, they offer gluten-free and vegan varieties.

They have spent the summer hosting pop-ups and filling custom orders but hope to open a shop next year.

“There's so much passion and the heart that goes into each and every order,” Carpenter says. “We just love doing it.”

Fall flavors arrive

It's 72 degrees and the sun is already blazing in the morning sky. With the humidity at 93 percent, the wait at the school bus stop screams summer.

But as I check Facebook on my phone, my youngest looking at the white shadow moon, everything is about fall.

Not just fall, but pumpkin spice.

And even with the soaring temps, everybody is high on the release of the fall drink by Starbucks.

This might be a good place to tell you that I like my coffee strong and dark and if it's iced, I'm going with a splash of cream and not much else. 

But I digress. If you are looking to celebrate the warm flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, local baristas are whipping up some tasty flavors.

At Mocha Lounge, 6312 Covington Road, the newly released fall menu includes a pumpkin spice latte, as well as a maple spice latte, pumpkin patch white mocha, s'mores mocha, honey mallow latte, pumpkin spice chai and caramel apple latte.

The Perk, 5801 Schwartz Road, is also launching a fall menu this week, which includes a pumpkin spice latte.

Mac & Cheese Fest

Macaroni and cheese isn't just a box on the shelf at the grocery. It's a culinary movement with gourmet varieties featuring everything from lobster and bacon to exotic cheeses.

But for Community Harvest Food Bank, the comfort food will bring just that – comfort.

Mac and Cheese Fest, which will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 13 at Headwaters Park, will benefit the food bank.

Tickets will give participants unlimited macaroni and cheese samples from about 20 local culinary partners. There will also be a cash bar and live entertainment.

Among the restaurants participating are Bagger Dave's, Biaggi's, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Club Soda, Park Place on Main and Trubble Brewing.

Each ticket will provide 100 meals for local families in need.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children younger than 12.

Go to for tickets and learn more at

Cancer fundraiser

Metro Diner at Coldwater Crossing has teamed with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to launch a roundup fundraising campaign at its 62 diners nationwide.

Through the end of September, Metro Diner guests will be given an opportunity to round up their check to the nearest dollar, add increments of $1, $2 and $5, or provide a custom amount.

For information and to find out how you can donate, go to

Around town

Waynedale Bakery, 2610 Lower Huntington Road, will have some specials for the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday. The bakery will have round Challah bread for the Jewish New Year, which begins Sunday evening and ends Tuesday night. A plain loaf is $3 and raisin is $3.50. Each loaf is one pound. Advance orders are requested; call 747-2992.

• The team at Just Cream Ice Cream Boutique has opened a second location in Angola, just south of Lake James. The Social Ice Cream Co., 2405 N. Steuben County Road 200 W., is open 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 1 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8304.

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