Adam Perry and his wife, Kari Nickander, were already “knee-deep in food trucks” when they decided to open a craft donut store. The pair first owned and operated Taco Lassi—a Mexican-Indian fusion truck—before bringing Pho Mi to the streets a year later. After managing both trucks for a full season, Perry and Nickander decided to take their experience to the next level—a brick and mortar.
Though General American Donut Co. (GADCO) opened just a few months ago, it has gained a fast following; it has more than 2,500 likes on Facebook, and more than 3,000 Twitter followers. To complement the popularity of the store, which is located at 827 S. East St., Perry and Nickander transformed one of their old food trucks into a mobile donut truck.
GADCO: Mobile Donuts in Indianapolis
The silver-colored Pho Mi truck—which had served Vietnamese cuisine to the streets of Indianapolis—was stripped of its interior. Kitchen equipment was removed, and donut racks were installed. When asked about the truck’s transformation, Perry said the process was more about scaling things down.
“We made it more simple,” he said. “Everything is done at our shop and we load [the truck] up with racks of donuts. Before, we did everything on the truck.”
The rebranded GADCO truck debuted at Gen Con, which Perry said was a great experience. The truck has also been spotted downtown during the morning hours, and at Keystone at the Crossing. GADCO also attended September’s First Friday Food Truck Fest. The popular monthly event is held in the Old National Centre parking lot, and draws many a hungry Hoosier. Each truck typically offers a special dish and, for GADCO, it was the donut ice cream sandwich.
“We had a huge line,” Perry said. “The ice cream sandwich was really popular, and it’s going to be a mainstay on the truck for special events.”
Of course, the truck wouldn’t be as sought out as it is without its main attractions—donuts and coffee.
Though GADCO’s menu differs from day to day, there are always a dozen or so flavors from which to choose. The donuts also range in price, from $1 to $2.75 each. Cinnamon Sugar and Powdered Cake donuts, for example, are less expensive than the “gourmet” S’more donut, which is filled with marshmallow cream and topped with chocolate icing and half a graham cracker. As of mid-September, however, the prices of some of the donuts were lowered, and GADCO started offering the “business dozen.” For $12, a customer can purchase any 12 cake and/or Chewy Raised Glazed donuts.
“[The business dozen is] a less expensive option in addition to the premium options,” Perry said.
A business dozen would be available for pick-up at either the store or the truck. Perry also said that, while GADCO does take phone orders, they would like to use the truck to deliver donuts directly to businesses. Perry and Nickander are also exploring the creation of a lunch menu featuring a savory donut-hot dog hybrid. And while a “donut dog” does sound adventurous, my sweet tooth is more than satisfied with the variety of donuts GADCO already offers. The recipes for each donut are actually perfected by Nickander and, thus far, I’ve sampled the Maple Bourbon Bacon, S’more, Salted Caramel, Raised Glazed, Sprankle, Hippie, Bennie and Cinnamon Sugar donuts. And while Perry’s favorite treat is the French Toast donut, mine is the Black Raspberry Key Lime donut. It has a filling, and a raspberry icing, and is just sweet enough to enjoy in its entirety. (Other GADCO donuts, such as the S’more donut or Maple Bourbon Bacon donut, are best cut into halves and shared, for they are very filling.)
As for the coffee? GADCO serves Stumptown, a coffee roaster and retailer based in Portland, Ore. The coffee is served both hot and cold, but I’ll admit that I’m not much of a coffee fan. My significant other happily stepped in, however, and discovered that he had nary a criticism about the hot coffee. He enjoyed the iced coffee as well, though he said the aftertaste was more bitter than he expected. (He insisted that he would try it again, however.) And while my significant other enjoyed the coffee, I and my voracious sweet tooth enjoyed the donuts. If there is one thing Homer Simpson and I have in common, it’s our addiction to donuts.
That said, I can safely assume that I’ll visit both the store and the truck again in the future, as the store is just two blocks from my apartment, and the truck often parks just two blocks from my office.
Raised Glazed — $2.25
The Raised Glazed is GADCO’s most popular donut. Perry likes to call it the “Holy Grail,” as it is as large as your outstretched hand.
Maple Bourbon Bacon — $2.75
This mouth-watering yeast donut is topped with maple syrup and bourbon-infused icing, as well as bacon from Smoking Goose.
Salted Caramel — $2.50
While other GADCO donuts, such as the Maple Bourbon Bacon, are “heavy,” the Salted Caramel is appropriately sweet and easy to devour.
Crème Brulée — $2.75
The Crème Brulée is filled with vanilla custard and is topped with crisp, melted sugar.
What Others Are Saying
“I woke up this morning wanting a donut. I got some yesterday and I can’t get them off my mind. Great place with a great staff. I will be back!” — Matthew K.
“Got a chance this past week to try out the [donuts]. My favorites were the Coffee and Cream, Maple Glazed with Bacon, and Crème Brulée. The Coffee and Cream tasted just like an iced mocha drink. Very good. I was not sure about a [donut] with bacon, but with the maple glaze, it was unreal! Looking forward to getting more soon.” — Brett G.
“Delicious! Love the Key Lime Raspberry. Everyone is filled with smiles and warm greetings … ” — Alli S.
To receive updates about its latest menu or its current location, follow General American Donut Co. on Facebook or Twitter. The Indy Food Truck Alliance and Indy Food Truck accounts also share the latest news concerning Indy’s mobile food industry.
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