Seize the donut
Unassuming local Carpe Donut makes big splashes
Tucked away on Allied Street off McIntire Road, a Charlottesville treasure hides behind C’ville Coffee. There, Carpe Donut helps you seize the day with apple cider-infused doughnuts made with only the highest quality ingredients.
Carpe Donut was founded in 2007 when married couple Matt Rohdie and Jen Downey began selling doughnuts out of a tent at county fairs, working their way up to a doughnut-wagon. After six years of hard work, the local entrepreneurs not only have their wagon and local shop, but also a food truck in New York City. Lucky for us, these world-class doughnuts started in Charlottesville and are only a 5- to 10-minute drive from Grounds.
With only four chairs for seating, a chalkboard menu and some framed articles highlighting their success, Carpe Donut’s décor can be best described as minimalist and quirky. The tip jar reads: ”This is a tip jar, this is a tip jar haiku, thanks for your input.” Behind the order window is a poster with “The Lord of the Rings” character Gollum clutching a freshly made cider doughnut. All in all, the setup echoes back to Carpe Donut’s humble origins.
The menu is only a continuation of the minimalist theme – there is only one doughnut on the menu. The apple cider-infused treat is made from organic flour, organic cider, locally pasteurized eggs, organic palm fruit shortening, organic sugar and organic spices. With ingredients cooked in 100 percent pure soybean oil, this is the most wholesome doughnut you can find in Charlottesville.
Unlike American doughnut chains such as Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts, which taste sugary and processed, Carpe Donut provides a refreshing bite to start your day off right without leaving you with a sugary crash later on. Their doughnuts are steamy and spongy on the inside with notes of vanilla, while the outside is dusted with cinnamon sugar and every bite carries a nice flavor of apple cider. At $1.19 a doughnut, they are an absolute steal.
The only other food item available on the menu is “The Lord of The Rings”-inspired “The Frodo,” which puts a generous scoop of ice cream between two halves of a doughnut.
Drinks include organic coffee, Italian style hot chocolate, hot cider, rGBH-free milk and kombucha tea on tap.
Carpe Donut’s menu and atmosphere may be bare bones, but with a doughnut as good as theirs, you don’t need anything fancy. Pure ingredients equate to pure tastiness.