From the traditional glazed to the increasingly exotic (wild berries with culinary lavender, anyone?) locally run Guru Donuts is well on its way to becoming a Boise legend.
By Becky Davis
Photography by Guy Hand
You know you’re onto a good thing when, in the two months between issues, what started as a speakeasy operating out of a North End kitchen has risen to the status of local icon and made the cover of nearly every publication in town. Such is the case with Guru Donuts, Boise’s newly beloved answer to our city’s sophisticated culinary cravings.
Guru’s story began with a donut fryer that once belonged to the now defunct North End grocery store that Guru’s owners, Angel and Kevin Moran, call home. The Morans took that fryer as an omen, and soon partnered with their neighbor Michael Baker, in hopes that they could learn how to use it. Baker, who happened to have grown up in a donut shop in Colorado, knew exactly what to do. Within the year, thanks to Baker’s culinary talent and experience and the Morans innovative and flavorful ideas, Guru has redefined the donut for Boise.
Guru Donuts definitely knows how to put a new spin on the holiest of pastries and features a host of unique recipes such as The Hemingway (a maple bourbon bacon donut) and the Girl Scout Cookie (a caramel and coconut concoction, named in honor of another American obsession). But Guru’s vision goes beyond the sweet and into the savory too. Meaning that Guru’s ever-evolving menu includes, of all things, both a Grilled Cheese and Pulled Pork donuts as well.
And not surprisingly, Boiseans dig it. “From the beginning, people see the vision right away and get it,” Moran said. “People in this town have just gravitated towards it and I think they just see how much fun we have with it.”
But these donuts are more than just fun and games. This past spring, Guru Donuts exclusively sold Boston Crèmes, and donated half of the proceeds to benefit the Boston Run Fund in an effort to help those impacted by the tragic events at the Boston Marathon. Likewise, Guru will be partnering up with Boise’s Women & Children’s Alliance this October in an effort to raise funds for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Not surprisingly, Guru’s sweet spot for supporting local causes doesn’t stop with its charitable works. In April, Guru Donuts joined the Boise Farmer’s Market and started to incorporate at least one local ingredient from other vendors in their donuts each week. Whether it’s local eggs or jelly made by your neighbor down the street, the season’s best ingredients are certain to find their way into Guru’s fare.
With the dream to eventually open up their new kitchen and retail space, the Morans started the Guru Donuts Dough-Nation Campaign on indiegogo.com, and rose close to $6500. This, along with other donations, allowed the Morans to move their kitchen to 816 W. Bannock for a bigger space and in an effort to get their old speakeasy look and vibe back.
Starting this fall, local businesses including The Boise Co-Op, The Record Exchange, The Crux and Dawson Taylor will be be selling Guru Donuts to the public, exclusively. The Boise Sesqui-Shop on the corner of 10th and Main Street will also start to feature a Guru Donuts pop-up shop as well.
“The thing is, from babies to the oldest people you could meet, there’s not one demographic you can leave out,” Moran said. “It’s something that brings people together.
To learn more about Guru Donuts, make a pilgrimage of your own or visit their website at http://www.gurudonuts.com.