ASHEVILLE ̵[ads1]1; A West Asheville donut shop is celebrating National Donut Day in style, as the eatery earned second place on Yelp’s “Top 100 US Donut Shops 2023” list.
Hole Donuts owners Hallee Hirsh and Ryan Martin became owners in 2016, and the donut shop opened in 2014. The couple lives in the East Fork community of Marshall and recently started baking donuts at a pop-up tent at Third Thursdays in Marshall.
Hirsh, who operates out of the same 800-square-foot store in West Asheville they opened in, said the national recognition is something she’s still trying to process.
“The magnitude of that recognition, to be at that level for the entire United States is hard to fathom,” Hirsh said. “But the fact that this recognition is based solely on the quality of reviews fills us with so much joy, because it’s this customer and community experience that drives us.”
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According to Hirsh, Hole offers four flavors, including three stock flavors — vanilla, toasted almond and cinnamon sugar — and a seasonal fourth that changes weekly.
The Yelp listing said “Outrageous toppings are more popular than ever,” and Hole is never short of interesting topping choices.
Hirsh said her favorite flavor is Hole’s Hazelnut Miso Donut.
Other past toppings have included wisteria, sumac and birch, as well as honeysuckle, strawberry-peppercorn and juniper-basil.
According to Hirsh, Martin has been perfecting the recipe for years.
“Ryan has never stopped tweaking the recipe,” Hirsh said. “He’s got the sourdough recipe down, as well as a gluten-free sourdough (although it’s not celiac-safe due to it being a deep fryer). We’re keeping it super simple with only four toppings to choose from.”
Hirsh said vanilla is always the best seller, but all four varieties are popular.
“People love our donuts because they’re fried to order right in front of you,” she said. “You get to eat piping hot, crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside fried goodness. Fried food is always best when enjoyed immediately.”
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Hirsh said co-owner Laurie Crosswell and the staff’s smiling faces keep customers coming back, too.
According to Hirsh, the national recognition from Yelp is due in no small part to Crosswell’s customer service.
“To top it all off, people get to chat with our sweet staff and Laurie, our co-owner, who loves people immensely and is often the reason people take the time to write a review.”
Hirsh said she and Martin are currently aiming to buy a new building, as they currently rent at the West Asheville location.
At the end of the day, Hirsh and his team’s main focus is to continue to offer customers some of the best donuts and service around.
“We just want everyone to treat themselves and have a good time,” Hirsh said.
Hole Donuts is located at 168 Haywood Road and is open from 8am to 1pm Wednesday through Sunday.
Visit Hole Doughnuts’ website here.