Kelly Keith starts her workday at 3 AM. That sounds torturous to most of us and is unique among others working on the Atlanta catering scene. But Kelly has a lot of orders to execute. Her team at Bon Glaze Doughnuts starts preparation at midnight, making hundreds of doughnuts and the dozens of fillings and glazes that flavor them.
“We didn’t think this part through,” she laughs of the schedule. For twenty years, Kelly and her husband Kenny worked as executives in the corporate sector. Traveling most of the year, they observed successful food businesses around the world and dreamed of running their own. Kelly’s baking background (she also runs Kelly’s Cakes Atlanta) eventually brought them to the idea of making creatively flavored doughnuts with quality ingredients.
They spent a year tasting recipes and, in January 2016, they opened the first Bon Glaze Doughnuts. By end of the first month, Thrillist had already hailed Bon Glaze as some of the “Best Damn Donuts in Atlanta.” Before the end of the summer, Kelly and Kenny had opened a second location across town and after The Cooking Channel’s Vinny and Ma Eat America featured their Margarita doughnut, business was at an absolute boom. And they plan to take Bon Glaze Doughnuts beyond Atlanta soon, too.
Kelly credits their swift growth to Bon Glaze Doughnut’s flavor creativity and their attention to service. So we got her on the line to find out exactly how she does it.
When we were traveling for our work in corporate America, we would visit the highly rated shops across the country and make notes about what we liked and what we didn’t. We knew we would omit “bucket fillings”. Everything in our shop is scratch made, which is why we start working at midnight. We make berry compote from macerated berries. We make custard from eggs, cream, and sugar. We have four varieties of bacon: natural smoked, candied, cayenne, and chocolate dipped. It takes additional effort, staff, and ingredients to do this, but it’s worth it.
The purists love our classics – our Chocolate Glazed Scratch and our Vanilla Bean Glazed Scratch, which has vanilla beans in the glaze. Then there’s our Bacon Butterscotch with candied bacon on top. And the Blueberry Sour Cream, which has fresh blueberries in it.
I do plenty of “quality control!” But my favorite is our Salted Caramel Balsamic, which is topped with sea salt and a balsamic drizzle. And the Candied Bacon we sell on the side – if by myself I can put several slices away, for sure!
We have dedicated staff just for ezCater — we sell a five-star product that we match with excellent customer service. Yes, mistakes happen, but we minimize the chances they will. Whenever we can add a personal touch, we do: we add personal cards signed by Kenny and me, or write notes to the company on our boxes.
Catering isn’t a drop off and go relationship anymore. The company and admin ordering needs to know they can rely on you, that you communicate, and that things are set up for their meeting by the time that you leave.
They sure did. Whether I was doing the ordering as the VP or my administrative assistant did it, you could tell when a business had a catering manager, and that made a difference. They would get repeat business from us.
Include what time your event starts. On occasion, someone will order 45 breakfast sandwiches – our glazed doughnut with egg, bacon, and cheese – or waffles. But then we find out their event doesn’t start until an hour after our delivery time. That’s disappointing for our brand standards. We know our product, and so if you give us a window for the event time, we’ll adjust accordingly to make sure things are fresh and warm when you’re ready to eat.
And if you don’t see something on the menu, don’t hesitate to ask your ezCater rep to call us and ask to make it happen. We’re happy to accommodate.
The Atlanta catering scene is a fantastic environment right now, and we’re just at the beginning of the cusp. We always hear that people are looking for something different. With the eclectic group of people who live in Atlanta and the vast number of companies headquartered here, there is an opportunity for more catering cuisines. The more personality and customization you can offer, the better.
Craving Bon Glaze’s doughnuts?