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A new Springfield doughnut shop offered an outstanding cheat day for Heather Woodburn, of Springfield.
Preparing to help out with an upcoming JROTC camp in Mexico, Missouri, Woodburn has been avoiding sweets and junk food for a few days. The attraction of Parlor Doughnuts on Tuesday was too tempting.
“I just like to go to new places around here,” Woodburn said. “Even though we’re not supposed to have sugar right now, I wanted to check it out.”
New Springfield location
With their new Springfield location of Parlor Doughnuts, owners Clint and Angie Woods are excited about a more steady stream of customers. The couple owns the Branson location of the franchise, and finds the tourism-based business a thrilling sort of roller coaster.
“The Branson market can be up and down with tourism, so we’re excited to be in Springfield, where there is more consistency,” Clint Woods said. “We’re looking forward to earning regular customers, and with our drive-thru, we can offer more convenience.”
About a year after opening up in Branson, the couple opened the Springfield store Friday. Located at 1109 E. Battlefield Road, near the intersection of Battlefield and National Avenue, the shop offers freshly baked doughnuts prepared in small batches and more than 20 flavors. It employs about 15 full- and part-time staff members.
Parlor offers what it calls a “layered doughnut,” which is a bit different from traditional cake or yeast doughnuts.
Woods said the dough has a yeast base, but is prepared differently from traditional raised doughnuts. They are formed with layers of dough similar to a pastry, fried for crispness on the outside and fluffiness on the inside.
The result has similarities to a cronut, a pastry created in 2013 by New York City baker Dominique Ansel, according to a report in The Guardian. The layered doughnuts at Parlor have no holes like traditional doughnuts, however.
One key to the shop’s success is a model based on making small batches, Woods said.
“We make small batches all day so we can keep doughnuts in the case all day,” Woods said. “Where most places make a bunch in the morning and try to sell out throughout the day, we keep them ready to make and prepare all day, even with about five minutes left in the day.”
The difference stood out to Maggie Martinez, who stopped by the shop with a friend Tuesday. First discovering the layered doughnuts at the Branson store, she was excited to enjoy a chocolate one in Springfield.
“I like how they are different,” Martinez said. “Everywhere else is like (traditional doughnut chains).”
The big sellers at the Springfield location over the last few days have been the Sandy Beach — a vanilla glaze with cinnamon sugar — and the French Toast. Current seasonal flavors include a cherry cheesecake and huckleberry honey glaze.
Other menu items
In addition to the doughnuts, the shop serves breakfast items all day, including a sausage biscuit and a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich served on an unglazed doughnut. Other options include an acai bowl, avocado toast, spinach pesto and breakfast tacos with either chorizo, bacon or avocado.
The shop also offers fresh-brewed specialty coffee roasted in Evansville, Indiana — the Parlor Doughnuts franchise’s home city. A selection of lattes, cold brews and teas are available.
Low-carb, vegan- and gluten-friendly options are also available. Workers also prepare special pet treats called dog doughnuts.
Another key part of the experience is a vintage modern vibe, featuring wartime Americana. Among the décor are tributes to the “Donut Dollies,” the World War II women volunteers who would work overseas, preparing and serving doughnuts to soldiers from Red Cross Clubmobiles.
Founders Darrick Hayden and Josh Tudela named their concept after the parlor, a room in a family home intended for get-togethers and conversations. These rooms used to be the best-furnished room in a home, and were perfect for hosting guests, according to information on the company’s website.
The first store opened in 2019, and the franchise has now spread to 41 stores in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Colorado and California.
Woods said he and Angie were looking for a franchise opportunity, and became quickly smitten with the concept. They drove to the founding Evansville store and experienced it for themselves.
“As soon as we walked in we loved the concept,” Woods said. “We wanted to create something where people could enjoy something sweet together, and Parlor fit that.”
The couple moved to Branson about 11 years ago — Clint became a full-time faculty member and cross country coach at College of the Ozarks, while Angie was a life coach and stay-at-home mom for the couple’s three children.
Over the years they have been making small moves to own their own business, Woods said, until the chance to partner with Parlor presented itself.
Woods said the family is thrilled to expand this particular experience to Springfield. A grand opening ceremony might be held in the future, but for now, its soft opening has been successful and strong, he said.
“This location is great. It’s easy for people to get to,” Woods said. “We feel like we have a really good staff that makes people feel welcome, and that’s our heart’s desire … our mission is to bring people together around the best box of doughnuts around.”