The story of YoYo Donuts really starts way back in the 1950s, in a small town in South Dakota.
My grandfather, Cliff Moquist, was in the dairy business. He bought the Rogers Dairy in Watertown, South Dakota, and had a retail space on the front called ‘Dairyland.’ They sold milk, cheese, butter, and had an incredible ice cream shop!
…they also made a special donut every morning – a donut my father grew up on, and never forgot.
Back in the day, Mrs. Scherer would arrive every morning and make a huge batch of fresh, delicious donuts. She’d make around 60 dozen every morning. (Well, make that every morning except Sunday. When grandpa realized that kids were coming straight from church and using their offering money to buy donuts, that put a permanent end to Sunday sales.) People would drive in from all over to buy these donuts, which at that time cost just 5 cents each. They generally sold out by around 9:30 AM, and when they were gone, they were gone – until the next morning.
That donut was a special blend of flours and spices that gave these donuts a unique flavor and special texture – quite different from the typical bland, puffy, overly sweet yeast-raised donut.
Over time, the dairy was bought out and bought out again, and my grandfather eventually retired to the shores of Lake Kampeska. And for nearly 40 years, no one made these donuts – until we decided to try to recreate them at YoYo Donuts.
We tried to find that flour blend and spice blend for about five years. And after much fruitless searching, we finally got it right. We are ecstatic to be serving these incredible donuts again to a whole new generation!
(Oh, and one more ‘sneak preview’ – don’t you think donuts and ice cream would go great together? Stay tuned!)
Are you guys a chain or a franchise?
No, we’re not! We’re family-owned and independent. This is the first (and so far, only) YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar on the planet. Our world headquarters is half of our dishroom in the back. Glamorous? Oh, yeah. (Especially after the 25th tray of dishes has steamed through…)
What’s special about your donuts?
First, we make our donuts by hand, on site, every morning. (Which these days is a pretty rare thing in the donut world!)
We don’t use preservatives or dough extenders, so our donuts are great for about 8 hours. After that, they’re better than OK the next morning (especially if you put them in the microwave for about 8 seconds) — but after that, well…we’d really suggest tossing them and coming back and buying some fresh ones!
Our flour blend is a mixture of wheat flour, barley flour, potato flour, and some special spices. So our donuts have a unique and amazing “taste”, rather than being just a bland, sugary dough.
Do you have tree nuts/peanuts on your donuts and rolls?
No. We are peanut- and tree nut-free (with the exception of coconut.) That means we do not purchase or use any peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oils or tree nuts of any kind (except coconut) in our facility.
Is your coffee Fair Trade?
The coffee we buy and serve is actually “direct trade.” Direct trade is a general umbrella term for coffees that are imported directly from the growers themselves, rather than brokered in bulk at auction. Our roastery, Dogwood Coffee Company, develops a direct relationship with the owners of coffee farms, negotiating individual terms and prices. Because there are no middlemen or outside agencies involved to take their cuts, the growers receive a much higher price for their beans. And all of our coffees are hand-selected and custom roasted for us by Dogwood Coffee Company.
Why don’t you guys serve a 24 oz. mocha-frappa-latte-ccino with 8 inches of whipped cream, smashed Butterfingers and sparklers on top?
At some point, those drinks really cease to be “coffee” of any sort. We have chosen to focus on coffee — great coffee — rather than just…well, sugar and artificial flavorings and whipped cream. We use such high quality coffee and such high quality milk that we really want you to experience those. Trust us.
Do you have lots of coffee “flavors”?
We blend three different types of chocolate in-house, to create a unique and natural mocha. We use pure vanilla paste which is made only from macerated vanilla beans — no HFCS or other sweeteners are added. Our honey comes to us directly from Ames Farm — single source, local and top quality. And we’ve just added our housemade caramel sauce!