Sweet-toothed New Haven residents seeking a sugar fix can now find Tony’s Orangeside Donuts at its new brick-and-mortar spot at 24 Whitney Ave.
Tony’s Orangeside Donuts opened to the public Tuesday morning, revealing tangerine interiors and donut flavors ranging from Oreo with vanilla frosting to pumpkin-glazed. Owner Tony Poleshek Jr. and his business partner Oron Arbogast previously sold donuts from retail trucks on Temple Street and around the New Haven Green. They also supply on-campus retail locations including Durfee’s and the School of Management with donuts. The new storefront caters not just to the Yale community, but to donut-lovers of all backgrounds, Poleshek said.
“[The love of] donuts is not restricted by age, by generation or by culture,” Poleshek said.
Poleshek said he plans to hold a grand opening for the store next week, before students leave for Thanksgiving break. Marketing has been minimal so far, he said. The store has mainly used Twitter and word-of-mouth to bring customers to the new brick-and-mortar location.
Unlike Orangeside on Temple — a diner Poleshek owned until last year that serves other breakfast food as well as donuts — Poleshek said he wants his new location to only serve donuts.
Poleshek said he chose to open a stationary store so customers could purchase Orangeside donuts at the same location each time, without having to hunt down the food truck.
In upcoming weeks, the store will tweak its hours, staying open later on the weekends, Poleshek said, adding that he hopes customers linger at the store, drinking coffee or studying.
Tony’s Orangeside Donuts will also offer student discounts, Poleshek said.
In spite of its location near a number of similar food vendors — including Dunkin’ Donuts, Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea and Bruegger’s Bagels — Tony’s Orangeside Donuts is unlikely to lose customers to nearby eateries, Poleshek said. While other restaurants cater to specific mealtimes, Poleshek said he sees his donuts as a snack or as an accompaniment to meals.
The “handcrafted” nature of each donut will keeps customers coming back, Poleshek added.
The donuts will complement the crepes served by next-door neighbor Choupette Creperie and Cafe, which opened earlier this fall, owner Adil Chokairy said.
Customers interviewed said they encountered the store while passing through Whitney Avenue. Branford resident and regular customer Chris Gargiulo said he bought a dozen donuts simply because “everything just looked really good.”
“The orange paint caught my eye,” said Yvonne Fairclough, an employee of the FedEx Store down the street from the new store.
By 5 p.m. Tuesday, Tony’s Orangeside Donuts sold out of Samoa, a popular donut flavor modelled after a flavor of Girl Scout cookies, Poleshek’s son Matthew Poleshek said. He added that first-day sales exceeded expectations.
Orangeside on Temple, the diner Poleshek previously owned, opened in 2009.