Entering its eighth year in business as a doughnut supplier, Tony’s Orangeside Donuts will soon have a retail storefront dedicated to doughnuts within the next two to three weeks.
Tony Poleshek Jr., owner of Tony’s Orangeside Donuts, said the new doughnut shop will be located at 24 Whitney Ave., right across the street from the Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea behind Timothy Dwight College. In the past year, Orangeside used retail trucks to sell their doughnuts in the area around the New Haven Green and at various locations on Temple Street. But Poleshek said he has always been fond of the Whitney Avenue area, adding that he picked the specific storefront location because of its proximity to campus and Yale students.
“As far as being closer on campus, there are only a few locations — Whitney Avenue, York Street and Broadway,” Poleshek said. “As you know, Broadway is busier, but is also very high-valued. So choosing Whitney Avenue made sense.”
Last year, the shop worked with and became a vendor for Yale, supplying its doughnuts to Yale retail locations, including Durfee’s, the School of Management and Kline Biology Tower. Originally, Poleshek also owned a restaurant — Orangeside on Temple — that served both breakfast and doughnuts. But, as the demand for the doughnuts grew, he decided to branch out and establish a space dedicated squarely to doughnuts.
Adam Millman, director of auxiliary operations at Yale Dining, characterized the collaboration between the two as a great working relationship that permits Yale to order many customary doughnut flavors directly from the source.
“Orangeside is just one of the small local New Haven businesses we work with, which promotes our commitment of working with local businesses.”
But the new Orangeside Donuts faces competition in the surrounding area on Whitney Avenue. For instance, Dunkin’ Donuts is located just a few doors down from the new storefront.
Still, Poleshek and his business partner Oron Arbogast, though, both said they have great confidence in their products.
“I have never been worried about competition,” Poleshek said. “If you make better products, people will buy more.”
Poleshek added that Orangeside Donuts’ popularity stems from the craftsmanship involved in the doughnut-making process. The only machinery involved in the production is the mixer, and all other ingredients are hand-cut and hand-rolled.
Poleshek added that Orangeside’s doughnuts are distinct in their square shape.
“I say abnormal donuts are round,” Poleshek joked.
Traditional round doughnuts require multiple cuts to the dough, and more flour with each cut, causing the dough be tighter and denser. But square doughnuts do not need multiple cuts, making them softer and tastier, according to Poleshek.
Becca Young ’18, a TD resident, had already noticed the new shop under construction as she walked past the storefront. Several students interviewed said they were interested in trying out the new shop.
Daniel Matyas ’16, another TD resident, said he is excited that the area around his residential college continues to add local businesses.
“I am a senior, so it is fun to watch this whole [Whitney Avnue. area] start to develop for the past few years,” Matyas said.
Some of the most sought-after doughnut flavors include almond butter crunch, apple cinnamon and Mounds. There will also be many additions to the menu in the near future, including pumpkin cinnamon.