A hole load of passion for a sweet treat on the street!
SWEET SUCCESS? Curtis Young, left, and Joe Rennard.
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 1 Sep 2017
A PAIR of graduates from East Yorkshire hope they have the recipe for success after their passion for pudding led them to starting their own street-food and events company.
Curtis Young, of Anlaby, and Joe Rennard, of Willerby, both 24, had left their home city for study and work but saw City of Culture 2017 as the perfect opportunity to make their aspirations a reality.
The 24-year-olds launched Whatadonut in December last year, but say it has really taken off since they both moved back to Hull. The company has been a street-food regular mainstay at recent events in the city, as well as serving private events.
Curtis said: “It’s something we’ve both been passionate about for a while. It’s our passion project, really.
“We investigated how it would work as a business before going ahead with it. And now I’m doing this full time at the minute.
“I came from a marketing job into this and Joe works in food, so it worked out quite nicely for us to start the business together.
“But also, for us, it was a great opportunity to come back to Hull. We were in Leicester and London, respectively, but thought that if there was ever a time to come back to Hull and start a business, it was now.”
While Curtis’s sole focus is WhataDonut, it is a passion for colleague Joe, who runs the business around his full-time job in product development for Cranswick.
Joe said: “I work at Cranswick developing new stuff for supermarkets. On a day-to-day basis I’m working with food businesses, but outside that, this is what I spend my evenings doing.
“We would spend time in London, try the food at stalls there, and think we could do a better job.
“It felt, to us, that London and some other places are really saturated when it comes to street food and businesses like this.
“It was perfect to take it to Hull, really, and the amount of opportunities has been incredible this year.”
He said the pair’s desire to make the perfect doughnut stemmed from discovering doughnuts in France that tasted more delicious than anything available in the area.
“We are massively into food and cooking, but we’ve always been into pastry and desserts. ’ve got a big sweet tooth and went to Lyon in France and tried some doughnuts there, and they were just amazing, unlike anything here,” Joe said.
“That really helped to inspire us. In Britain, if you want a donut you basically only have Krispy Kreme, and we thought we were pretty sure we could make and sell a better product than that.
“The doughnuts are fresh and haven’t got huge amounts of ingredients, but we also try to make them that extra bit special, too. We’ve got a separate part of the kitchen we use to make the dough, but a lot of the work is on site. We want it served warm, fried fresh for people.”
The pair will next be showcasing their premium doughnuts at a stall during Freedom Festival next weekend, following a series of busy street-food events this summer.
“The first street-food festival we were at in Hull we completely sold out and had to start making more batches,” Curtis said. “People clearly liked what we had, but it was frustrating to know there were more people there who could have tried our products.
“It’s a premium dessert and I think that’s why it works as something a bit different for street food and events.
“When you see other businesses in Hull that have become really successful after starting with street food, like Shoot The Bull, you see that as something to replicate.
“We use high-quality ingredients and try to give those little extra flourishes with the finished product. We’ve got a raspberry doughnut, for example, filled with raspberry jam, it’s glazed and has freeze-dried raspberries on top.”