The Doughnut Project NYC

Photo credit to, edited by Olivia Mistretta

Photo credit to, edited by Olivia Mistretta

Olivia Mistretta, Senior Editor

Troy Neal and Leslie Polizzotto were unexpected business partners: A lawyer and a bartender, both looking for change in their lives. They decided to take the plunge and open up what is currently my favorite spot to grab a snack in New York City–The Doughnut Project. The bakery was opened on October 15, 2015 and currently has two locations. The original location is on 10 Morton Street in West Greenwich Village, the second on 912 7th Ave at Central Park.

So what makes The Doughnut Project so special? Well, the doughnuts of course! Have you ever tried a ricotta whipped cream stuffed doughnut with beet glaze? Or maybe a doughnut with chocolate bone marrow cream filling? The Doughnut Project has got you covered if you’re looking for a pastry with a little pizazz.

I was able to sit down with co-owner Mr. Neal and asked him about the business. “My background is bartending”, he said. “I worked in the Flatiron district, and there I met my business partner Leslie, who is a lawyer. I started making these doughnuts for friends and family in my apartment just for fun, and it has rolled into something really fun.”

One of the interesting aspects of the business is how flexible they are with their product. There are new doughnuts being developed all the time, many of which are born out of partnerships with other businesses.

Mr. Neal described how this process works, “If someone wants to promote their cheese or alcohol or even an olive oil brand, we can mash something up for them. Some of them are promoted by the brand, and they want the doughnut named something specific.  We can do a lot of stuff.” Many doughnuts, such as the popular ‘Chandonut’ (a sparkling rosé glazed donut with edible rose petals on top) are created as a result of these partnerships.

So what is the overall goal of The Doughnut Project? “World doughnut domination!” says Mr. Neal, “Just kidding, we’re trying to grow it as a whole brand…as an experience. When you come in there’s the music and the people and the artwork, it’s about the vibe you get when you come in. We don’t wholesale our doughnuts either, you can’t buy them in another cafe or bakery or anything like that.  We want people to come here.”

Overall, I think The Doughnut Project is a wonderful business, and I will certainly be going back whenever I’m in the city. Now, excuse me while I go help myself to a New Old Fashioned Doughnut!