Donut Fest is returning to Cleveland for its second straight year, and promises to be another delightfully tasty amalgamation of classics and unexpected twists. “I think we’re going to see some old-school donuts with no fuss and people who are willing to take chances,” said Donut Fest founder Rebecca Skoch.
The second annual Donut Fest begins at 9am Feb. 10 at Red Space in Cleveland. Although the event is sold out, @EdibleCleveland is running an Instagram contest with a chance to win two VIP tickets to the event. VIP admission includes early entry, tasting access to every vendor, free coffee samples, a limited-edition Donut Fest mug, and a goody bag.
About 1,200 are expected to attend, including vendors, attendees, staff, and volunteers. The following regional bakeries are participating this year: Holey Toledough, Brewnuts, Madsen Donuts, Jack Frost Donuts (last year’s crowd favorite), Peace Love & Little Donuts (last year’s judge’s favorite), The Vegan Doughnut Company, Fiona’s Coffee Bar & Bakery, Urban Farmer, City Girl Donuts, Jubilee Donuts, and Mary Ann Donuts Cafe. Beverage vendors on hand include: City Roast, Joe Maxx Coffee Company, Heartwood Coffee Roastery, Erie Island Coffee Co., Solstice, and Hartzler Family Dairy.
Award categories have expanded this year from two to 12 trophies to acknowledge the breadth of interesting attributes that donut entrants offer. “It’s hard to pick one or two winners when you’re choosing from the best of the best, so we’ll have new categories like best old-fashioned, best presentation, and best cake to recognize those donut makers,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca, a food and beverage consultant, launched Donut Fest five years ago in Chicago and has since expanded to New York and her native Cleveland. “Cleveland is an exciting food city in the Midwest,” she said. “It’s the perfect mix of new interesting restaurants, but also has a reverence for classic eateries, which translates to the donut scene in Cleveland. You have hip newcomers and old-school bakeries that people went to as a kid. Plus, people are passionate about donuts, regardless of background. They exist in all kinds of cuisines and cultures. Everyone can connect to donuts.”