Tomorrow, Saratoga Springs’ doughnut game will be expanding again. Back in December, a new late-night spot, Taquero Tacos and Donuts, opened up on Putnam Street, joining South Broadway’s longtime Dunkin’ location. And now, after a months-long delay due to NY PAUSE restrictions, a third doughnut outpost, Darling Doughnuts, is opening July 29. Previously a pop-up shop selling gourmet, house-made donuts, Darling Donuts will open a storefront at 441 Broadway, making it the only shop fully dedicated to doughnut-making in Downtown Saratoga.
“We had originally intended to open late March, but when NY PAUSE went into effect in mid-March, our construction completely halted,” says the company’s Founder and Co-owner, Natascha Pearl-Mansman. “By the time we finally received our last permit to operate, I had reached the end of my pregnancy. The entire process was a series of unfortunate events.” While Pearl-Mansman had planned to open Darling Doughnuts before the birth of her second child, she’s now going through the opening process with a 3-week-old baby in tow.
So, what can customers expect from this long-awaited artisan doughnut shop? “I’ve developed more than 75 flavors since I started Darling Doughnuts in the summer of 2018,” says the company’s Founder and Co-owner, Natascha Pearl-Mansman. “I currently have 50 flavors on the menu, but we certainly won’t be making all 50 every day!” Instead, Pearl-Mansman plans to offer 10 flavors at a time and rotate through her variegated lineup of doughnut recipes on a weekly basis.
On the menu will be both full-size doughnuts and minis, as well as “doughrogies” (Pearl-Mansman’s own creation, a donut-pierogi hybrid with fresh fruit filling). Pearl-Mansman says that her personal favorites are the fruit-flavored donuts such as Blue Strazzberry and Lemon Poppyseed. “All my flavors are made with real ingredients rather than extracts, so I think you can really taste the difference,” she says. A perennial customer favorite has been Burnt Butter Pecan. “The glaze recipe was actually created by my great-grandmother for her cookies,” she says. “It goes perfectly on a doughnut.” In addition to all that variety, Darling Doughnuts will also offer coffee and tea to pair with its selection of sweets.
Born and raised in Glens Falls, Pearl-Mansman went to college in Boston, where she originally studied classical music, dance and fine art. “I actually have no formal training in baking, but it’s always been a passion of mine,” she says. It was after the birth of her first daughter in 2017 that Pearl-Mansman decided to turn her doughnut-baking passion into a business, partly as an effort to earn enough money to stay at home with her daughter. Starting out as a pop-up store at special events throughout the Capital Region, Darling Doughnuts quickly distinguished itself with its equally flavorful and eye-catching doughnuts. In 2019, Pearl-Mansman partnered with another upstate local with doughnut shop dreams, Co-owner Glenn Severance, and about a year later, the two are finally opening their first brick-and-mortar store. “It was a pretty amazing feeling to walk in and see everything completed after so long,” says Pearl-Mansman. “Thankfully, the majority of our staff stood by us during the long wait to open, and we were finally able to get everyone in to train. After doing it all on my own for so long, it’s an incredible thing to have other people to share this experience with us.”
Beginning with a soft opening tomorrow, Darling Doughnuts’ storefront hours will be Wednesday through Sunday, 8:30am-6pm. The doughnut shop might still offer collaborative pop-up events with other area restaurants, too. Pearl-Mansman says that she’s been talking with the owner of Scoop Gelato in Troy about potentially making some special doughnut-gelato sandwiches. “Throughout my two years as a pop-up shop, I’ve been fortunate to meet with many local businesses,” she says. “I would love to be able to do more [with them] once the store opens.”
Additional reporting by Natalie Moore.