West Berkeley’s Doughnut Dolly to close due to rent dispute

Doughnut Dolly doughnuts are hand-rolled and filled to order. Photo: Tracey Taylor

This Sunday will be the last day for the West Berkeley location of Doughnut Dolly. The doughnut shop, which opened in the Gilman district in 2014, has been forced to close after lease negotiations broke down with Donahue Schriber, the building’s landlord.

Owner Hannah Hoffman told Nosh that the original Doughnut Dolly location, in Temescal Alley, and its newest location, in the lobby of San Francisco’s Twitter building, will remain open. Employees from the Berkeley location will be able to work at the other locations. The transition will be “really seamless,” she said.

Berkeley residents won’t, however, have to wait long to see Hoffman’s creations around town again. She’s planning a series of pop-up events at Berkeley coffee shops. “Hopefully we will have a regular pop-up at one coffee shop in town,” she said.

Hoffman is not yet sure of the details: “We’re still figuring it out,” she said “All of this transpired in the last 48 hours.” She is encouraging her customers to check the shop’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for pop-up updates.


Hannah Hoffman, owner of Doughnut Dolly, in her Temescal shop in 2012. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Pop-ups aren’t new for Hoffman. She started Doughnut Dolly in the same way, and eventually raised enough money through Kickstarter to open her Temescal location in 2012. She takes an artisanal approach to doughnut-making, rolling each by hand and filling the fried treats with scratch- or locally-made creams, custards and jams. Hoffman’s signature doughnut is called “Naughty Cream,” which is filled with vanilla bean-crème fraîche pastry cream.

Hoffman will be holding a “little celebration” on the shop’s last day on Sunday, with “tons and tons of doughnuts.” The West Berkeley shop will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and Hoffman will be in the house all weekend.

“I’m really sad that this didn’t work out,” she added. “But I’m so grateful about how supportive the community has been. And I’m excited that we can still get people their sugar at our other locations. … We’re still around, man.”