By: Joanie Cox-Henry Contributing Writer
Imagine a doughnut shop that’s built on the whimsy of Willy Wonka, the cleverness of Harry Pottery and designed with pure imagination. Welcome to Doctor Doodle’s Donuts, a curious new purveyor of baked treats, fresh-roasted coffee and more slated to open on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach at the end of February.
Located near Southeast Fifth Avenue, the sweet new endeavor is the brainchild of Neil Koppel and co-owner Edward Rosenberg whose wife wrote a children’s book to base the concept of the shop on.
The character of Doctor Doodle is a Delray Beach settler from Vienna searching for the ultimate doughnut. When one wasn’t found, he decided to make his own.
Koppel’s partner Rosenberg is also one of the creators behind iconic eateries Rainforest Cafe and Planet Hollywood. The bakery has already been generating buzz long before its opening for its shadow boxes and peek-a-boo flaps in the front window of the shop. Koppel created various shadow boxes to give people a glimpse at what was to come.
“I’ve always loved to bake,” said Koppel, who retired from the jewelry business six years ago and then made a comeback in the industry. “I was soon realizing how millennials and even Generation X’ers have no interest in jewelry, so I thought, ‘There’s no great bakery or coffee shop in Delray, so let’s build an exceptional bakery.’”
With a 3,000-foot-commissary on Rogers Circle in Boca Raton to make fresh jellies, creams and mixers for the doughnuts, Koppel said everything will be made from scratch and the smell of fresh coffee roasting will always be floating through the air.
“We will have all kinds of doughnuts from sugared and powdered to peanut butter and jelly doughnuts to cookies muffins and breads. And with every bite of our doughnuts that are filled, we want you to taste the filling in every bite,” Koppel said. “For our beverages, we will offer frozen hot chocolate, tea drinks and nitro-brewed coffee.”
Four-legged friends will also find something sweet at Doctor Doodle’s Donuts. “I love dogs so we didn’t want to leave them out,” Koppel said. “In addition to fresh baked dog treats, we will offer ice cream for dogs made out of yams, oats and other wholesome ingredients.”
With seating for 40 customers outside, the interior of the 1,500-square-foot shop was designed by Delray Beach architect Shane Ames of Ames International Architecture. “I had a brainstorming session with the owners of Doctor Doodle’s Donuts,” Ames said. “I was throwing ideas out and they liked all of it. They wanted a whimsical place so that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
Koppel said Doctor Doodle’s Donuts have already been a hit at Delray Beach’s Green Market, where they have a booth each Saturday. Both Koppel and Rosenberg have also been taken aback with the tremendous interest in their brand. “People have been contacting us nonstop responding to the shadow boxes on the front of our store and inquiring about when we were opening,” Koppel said.
Doctor Doodle’s Donuts also conveniently backs up to the iPic movie theater, which is still under construction. “We’ll be open from 6 p.m. until midnight on weekdays and open Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m. so people walking along the Avenue or coming back from the movies can stop in and get some delicious doughnuts,” Koppel said. “We’re also hiring many people including veterans so this will also be a wonderful thing for the Delray community. I hope it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I’ve lived here almost 30 years and I’ve really watched Delray evolve.”
Koppel is also hoping the Delray store becomes the flagship store of what will be many more Doctor Doodle’s Donuts shops.
“I have never seen anybody eat a doughnut without a smile on their face. My goal is for this to be a destination for a parent to take their kid—a place for people and families to come and still find wonderment,” Koppel said. “Bringing a little joy to people in such crazy times is an amazing feeling.”
For the latest on the shop, visit Facebook.com/DrDoodlesDonuts.