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REVIEW: The DoughBoys Empire Grows Strong (Subscriber Content)


DoughBoys Donuts including a Maple Bar, Mini Apple Fritter, Orange Raised and two Tiger Tails.

DoughBoys Donuts recently opened their third shop in the space formerly occupied by The Little Donut in Spanish Springs. Since 2009, DoughBoys has been delighting Reno and Sparks locals with hand-cut doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches and hot coffee. Their signature raised doughnuts are a force of nature.

Intergenerational Doughnut Mastery

DoughBoys roots date back to 1980 to a shop called Donut Stop. There, Bob and Marge Kenny perfected recipes that granted them widespread success. The family’s doughnut recipes haven’t changed much since then. Once the Kenny’s mastered their craft, they passed it onto their sons, John and Jay. John operates the DoughBoys shops on Mae Anne and the new one in Spanish Springs. Jay handles the shop in South Reno. All three locations produce the same hand-cut doughnut varieties each week.

DoughBoys Donuts Logo
A logo that celebrates family.
Image: Kyle Young

Jay advised that their shops will occasionally make specialty doughnuts for cultural holidays such as Fat Tuesday. This past Fat Tuesday, DoughBoys made pączki (Poonch-Kee). Pączki are dense doughnuts of Polish origin. Jay also shared that they’ve been known to make Sufganiyah, Israeli jelly doughnuts, for Hanukkah. I love that many cultures share a love for fried bread.

Doughboys raised doughnuts are unlike any other in town. I really like the height and airy quality of this variety. I asked Jay to tell me about the process that he and his family use to make them. He advised that the most important aspect of the signature raised is the quality ingredients. They use only the finest yeast. “We use the best that’s out there. How you hand-cut the doughnut, and how you proof it – it all comes into play,” said Jay.

The Spanish Springs location purchases their coffee from a company called Vaneli’s Handcrafted Coffee. The Mae Anne and South Reno locations purchase their coffee from Farmer Brothers.

The DoughBoys website mentions the myriad ways that DoughBoys gives back to the community. I asked Jay to fill me in. DoughBoys gave a blanket name to their various charitable works. They call these works their Doughgood charity.

The three shops constantly donate doughnuts to well-deserving organizations. “Every day something is going out,” said Jay. In April, DoughBoys will be granting a wish to a special child in need. “As a family owned business, we give back to the community that supports us,” concluded Jay.

Let’s Talk Breakfast Sandwiches

I ordered the ham, egg and Swiss croissant sandwich for $4.75 and a small coffee for $1.55. The coffee was weakly brewed for my taste, but the flavor was okay.

The sandwich included nicely-cooked, delicate scrambled eggs, standard deli ham and well-melted Swiss cheese.

Ham, egg and Swiss croissant and a jalapeño and Swiss croissant and a coffee.
Ham, egg and Swiss croissant and a jalapeño and Swiss croissant.
Image: Kyle Young

The moisture from the egg and cheese collapsed the flaky, crispy croissant layers. The collapse may also be attributed to sealing the pastry in foil with hot, wet ingredients. The result was a mushy, buttery and savory flavor bomb instead of a croissant sandwich. The flavor would really benefit from some hot sauce to cut the richness of the buttery pastry and savory cheese.

My wife ordered the jalapeño and Swiss croissant for $2.75. The employee helping us asked my wife if she wanted the croissant heated and if she wanted extra cheese. My wife opted for both. She said she really liked the Swiss cheese in place of the cream cheese often found in the sister variety at Mexican bakeries. She mentioned that she would have enjoyed more jalapeños.

Sweet Treats Are DoughBoys Bread and Butter

I love DoughBoys’ doughnuts so much so that my wife and I served them at our wedding. Our family and friends demolished eight dozen doughnuts. As far as bready doughnuts are concerned, DoughBoys is masterclass in my book.

Doughnuts with flowers on shelves
The Great Wall of Doughnuts at
Kyle and Kaitlin Young’s wedding.
Harmony Hilderbrand Photography

Although DoughBoys does not make their doughnut fillings in-house, they carefully select the fillings for optimal taste, texture and quality. I enjoy some of their doughnut varieties more than others, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

$11.95 will buy you an assorted dozen. You can add fancy doughnuts, such as the Tiger Tail, to your assorted dozen for an extra dollar each.

Here is a quick commentary on the varieties that my wife and I tried this trip.

The Maple Bar, Raised Glazed and Chocolate Bavarian Cream hit all the notes that I hoped they would. Well-executed classics are always a testament to a baker’s skill.

Orange Raised: This doughnut featured Creamsicle-style icing atop the classic Raised Glazed. Despite being off the charts on the sweet scale, I enjoyed it.

Coconut Raised: The shredded coconut adds a nice flavor. Toasted coconut flakes might offer more in the way of texture.

Mini Apple Fritter: It was well-cooked with lots of crisp nubs. It included a solid cinnamon flavor with plenty of semi-tart apple pieces.

Pink Raised with Rainbow Sprinkles: Homer Simpson would surely bestow his approval of this strawberry-flavored exemplar. Kudos for coloring and flavoring the icing.

Assorted doughnuts from DoughBoys Donuts
The Chocolate Bavarian Cream,
Raspberry Jelly, Coconut Raised,
Pink Raised with Rainbow
Sprinkles and Crumb Buttermilk
Bar from DoughBoys Donuts.
Image: Kyle Young

Raspberry Jelly: It had a nice ratio of jelly to bread, but the filling is a little sweet for my taste. A sharper jelly might balance the flavor more.

Crumb Raised: This one ties for my favorite alongside the Tiger Tail. It had a hearty amount of cinnamon and a fantastic, crisp, crumbly exterior. Here, too, the sweet factor is dialed way up.

Tiger Tail: The Tiger Tail is the pinnacle of doughnut engineering. They weave cinnamon into an extra-long glazed twist. It’s similar to a cinnamon bun, but the shape grants it more fried surface area. Just one of these feline appendages alongside a coffee will provide a satisfying breakfast.

I asked Jay which doughnut variety he think deserves more love than it receives. He laughed and recommended the Buttermilk Bar. Heading his advice, I ordered a Crumb Buttermilk Bar. It had a crumbly exterior and a soft, cakey interior. It’s a great doughnut for those who avoid cloyingly sweet pastries.

DoughBoys Donuts Details

Visit the newest DoughBoys Donuts location at 5272 Sparks Blvd, Unit 106, Sparks, NV, 89436. Call in your advance order to 775-384-1105. The Spanish Springs location is open 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For information on the other locations, visit them online at doughboysreno.com.

Kyle Young
Kyle Younghttp://www.grpnv.com
Kyle Young is a local freelance writer. He offers content writing, blog posts, copywriting, and editing services. His current writing foci are food, cooking, and the oddities native to Reno, Sparks, and Tahoe. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in English writing. He gained some food chops while working as a dishwasher, line-cook, and food-truck operator. He learned quality control, imports/exports, and logistics at a local spice and seasoning manufacturer. When not hustling as a writer, he plays Scrabble, cooks, wrangles three pups, and attends live music/comedy with his wife.