Delivering the doughnuts: Vortex, Hole are ready to dish out the goods

HOLE FOODS: Vortex Doughnuts, winners of Blue Ridge Food Ventures' 2013 Big Tasty Award, will offer four signature flavors and daily specials. Photo by Nick King

The highly anticipated openings of two doughnut destinations — Vortex and Hole — are finally upon us.

First to officially open, Hole began serving customers on Thursday, Oct. 16. Located in a new building on Haywood Road with a small parking lot, the bright blue truck with its logo is easy to spot.

“Eight months ago this was a vacant lot,” co-owner Kim Dryden says.

The space has the feel of a farmhouse kitchen. The “harvest table” along one side is designed to encourage conversation with bench seating. Leather-covered stools at the bar face the open kitchen where customers can watch doughnuts being rolled and fried.

Dryden, a graduate of Haywood Community College’s woodworking and ceramics programs, handcrafted the wooden tables and bar, hanging lamps and even the souvenir coffee cups.

The menu is simple, with four types of yeast-raised doughnuts: glazed, sesame almond cinnamon, chocolate ganache and a booze-glazed variety made with bourbon or rum. “We don’t want a whole bunch of doughnuts, just a few really good ones,” Dryden says. The coffee is from locally owned PennyCup Coffee Co. There’s also fresh-squeezed orange juice and Farm to Home Milk.

The attention to detail is apparent in Hole’s décor and menu. “When you do things simple, you have to be spot on with it,” Dryden says.

Closer to downtown, Vortex plans to open sometime between Wednesday, Oct. 22 and Monday, Oct. 27. The space at 32 Banks Ave. is open and bright, with wood countertops, colorful stools and high ceilings with hanging ductwork.

The menu features three signature doughnuts. The Vortex is a yeast-raised cinnamon sugar with chocolate swirl. The Rotating Tap uses a local beer to flavor the caramel sauce and is topped with peanuts, pretzels and beer malt crumble. The Orange Peel is a chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate sauce and candied orange dust.

In addition there will be an assortment of daily doughnut flavors as well as doughnut holes and fritters. “The goal is to be seasonal and use fresh local ingredients that are in harvest,” Ben Myers, co-owner and general manager says.

There will even be daily vegan and gluten-less doughnuts among the selections. “There’s no doughnut machine here; everything is prepped by hand,” Myers says. “It takes a lot of time and work to do something right.”

Myers sees Vortex attracting Asheville’s diverse community. “Vortex is sort of like that bar in Star Wars,” Myers says. “It’s a place where unique characters hang out, and there are strange engagements happening; it’s on the fringe of downtown with all of that creative energy.”

Hole is at 168 Haywood Road in West Asheville. Hours are 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday – Monday. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Vortex is at 32 Banks Ave. Hours are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday – Saturday.

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About Toni Sherwood
Toni Sherwood is an award-winning filmmaker who enjoys writing articles, screenplays, and fiction. She appreciates the dog-friendly, artistic community of Asheville.

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