A recent storm blew the signs down at Blue Dot Donuts on Tchoupitoulas Street. But owner Brandon Singleton didn’t let it worry him too much.
After all, Singleton and his wife and business partner, Claire, ended their franchise partnership with the original Blue Dot on Canal Street so they could focus on a new concept. The new business, named Proofed, will still serve doughnuts but will carry a wider food and drink menu and operate more as a café, Brandon Singleton said.
“We’re still open for business over here,” he said, “but all the conceptual changes will take hold in mid-July. It’s going to look a lot different. We’re still going to do doughnuts, but we want to do kolaches, muffins, different types of sodas, different drink and menu items that we couldn’t do underneath Blue Dot because it’s such a doughnut-inspired place.”
And according to Claire Singleton, the building will undergo a face-lift to encourage dining in.
“We think we’re going to put a bar with stool seating so that people can eat in and make it more comfortable to stay,” she said.
Brandon Singleton continues to hold a stake in Blue Dot and remains good friends with the owners of the popular doughnut shop, he said. He and his wife decided to dissolve the franchise to avoid confusion over the new concept. The separation came about last month.
Brandon Singleton said he will stay busy with a house renovation, a 2-year-old son and his day job as a detective for the New Orleans Police Department.
“So I’m like, ‘You know what? This is yours,’ ” Brandon Singleton said he told his wife, punctuating the statement with a chuckle. “ ‘You have fun with this, dear, because you love doing this.’ ”
Claire Singleton said they had been considering expansion for a few months.
“We wanted to give people more lunch options or also give options to people who weren’t looking for things as sweet as a doughnut,” she said.
Kolaches, the filled pastries that will utilize a variation of Proofed’s typical doughnut dough recipe, will make up a large portion of their business. The Singletons fell in love with the salty, buttery baked good on a recent trip to Texas, where it is a highway staple, and decided to try out a few kolache ideas at a small Halloween festival last year. According to the couple, customers loved them.
They are also experimenting with doughnut-inspired pigs in a blanket and sandwich bread, along with coffees and Italian sodas. Milkshakes are under discussion.
But doughnut diehards shouldn’t fear.
“We’re going to be working with some new ingredients and new flavors, but we have a pretty good idea of what people like,” Claire Singleton said. “We’re still going to make sure to stick with the classics, so people can come in and get an affordable dozen glazed doughnuts if that’s what they want or bring a few dozen to work with them.”
And beyond that, there’s one more change patrons might notice.
“We plan on changing the interior and exterior,” Claire Singleton said. “We won’t be as bright blue anymore.”