“When we first opened, this place was like a dead zone,” Hoang said. “Nobody really caught on to the gourmet doughnut fad so everybody was like, ‘I don’t know about bacon on a doughnut.’”
Hoang said it took eight straight months of him holding signs on street corners in front of his shop to get customers to come in and give his doughnuts a try. Now, he said he has seen gourmet doughnut shops growing all over the Greater Houston area.
“Whenever I first started, they copied me doughnut for doughnut,” Hoang said. “Basically, it just gives you fuel to be better, it makes you want to compete and come up with newer flavors.”
The Grove Do-nutz & Deli offers about 40 different doughnut flavors: from Hoang’s personal favorite—the Elvis, a peanut butter, banana and bacon doughnut—to a pizza doughnut, cookie doughnut and even the kronut, which is a cross between a croissant and a doughnut.
“Me and my wife are big foodies and if we go out, we will eat a dessert somewhere and we are like, how can we incorporate this into a doughnut?” he said. “When we first opened for the first couple of years, I was coming up with a doughnut about every week or so.”
The Grove also offers kolaches, cappuccinos and lattes, smoothies, deli sandwiches and wraps, and Vietnamese sub sandwiches, or banh mi. Hoang started a food truck business a little over a year ago and sells the Grove’s signature sandwiches and kronuts to people all over Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery counties.
“Everybody’s taste buds are different, so we have a little bit of everything pretty much,” Hoang said. “It’s not your typical mom and pop doughnut shop ... [and] It’s a place where you can come in, relax and eat great food.”
The Grove Do-nutz & Deli
815 Plantation Drive, Richmond
Hours: Mon-Thu. 7 a.m.-1 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 7 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-1 p.m.