A new upscale doughnut shop opens Thursday to satisfy all glazed, fried, dipped and sprinkled cravings in a colorful 2,600 square foot space on the skyway level of Minneapolis’ City Center.
A welcoming, modern space
Cardigan Donuts’ Owners Jeff Bull and Justin Bedford envisioned an antithesis to the cold cubical environment that can be so prevalent in downtown. “Our motto is Comfort, Warmth, Welcome,” Bedford explained.
“The vision was a living room, a mid century modern living room, where you can escape the gray of your office for a bit,” Bull added. To that end, the partners brought in Smart Associates to create three areas where the weary can enjoy some caffeine and sugar. “We created opportunities throughout the space for comfort, depending on a visitor might need on any particular day,” Lisa Monson, from Smart Associates, explained. There is a living room complete with the quintessential Mid Mod fireplace and pops of yellow and orange, a coffee bar where baristas act like bartenders, available to listen to long-winded complaints about your Monday, and a back area with smaller two-tops as well as a long meeting table.
Three tiers of donut goodness
Bakery Manager Dan Rosene has been working for over a year on his doughy creations. “He is the genius behind our donuts,” Bull and Bedford agreed. Cardigan will serve three different levels of carb spheres, beginning with Classics, moving onto Premiums and finally, Inspired. Rosene described Premium as “familiar flavors but elevated with made-in-house fillings or fun toppings, like our churro donuts, which will come with a spiced fudge dipping sauce.”
The Inspired donuts are over-the-top creations, like the mocha long John made with Black Eye coffee or Cardigan’s answer to the unicorn craze, The Rainbow, which is topped with those tiny marshmallows you always picked out of the cereal box as a kid.
To counter the caloric bombs that are donuts, Cardigan offers a succinct menu of healthier options. “We decided to incorporate the toppings and filling from the donuts into a few healthier choices,” Bull said. There are oatmeals bowls and yogurt granola bowls, which come with a garnish of a donut hole. "It’s a weird dichotomy of angel and devil,” Bull said.
Every donut deserves a good coffee companion
Cardigan partnered with Black Eye Roasting Company to create an exclusive blend simply called Donut Roast. Black Eye’s ultra creamy nitro is also available on tap, as well as your garden variety of espresso drinks. There are also three taps dedicated to Prohibition Kombucha.
A donut is a terrible thing to waste
Another key mission for Bull and Bedford is eliminating food waste. “Our mantra is that our work is never wasted,” Bull said. “We decided right away that it was Important to us to provide everyone with donuts, everyone deserves comfort food.” All donuts left after close will go to the Salvation Army and local food shelves.
Forgot your anniversary? Cardigan’s got your back
Speaking of giving back, patrons will notice a cute little merchandise nook by the cream and sugar station. The gifty items here have been carefully curated toward the downtown, sugar-seeking crowd by the team behind Greater Goods. The gift shop, owned by Lauren and Joel Gryniewski and located at 25th and Nicollet, sells paper goods and adorable tokens, giving a portion of their yearly proceeds to a chosen charity.
Want to be a part of fun? Cardigan runs a monthly Donut Lab, an opportunity for the community to come to the table with ideas and suggestions. “Once a month we invite a handful of folks in, we feed them donuts and take feedback so we can continue to innovate in the right direction,” Bull said. To sign up for a chance to participate, click here.