In just three months, 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, a third doughnut outpost is set to open this March. Darling Doughnuts, previously a pop-up shop selling gourmet, house-made donuts, is slated to open a storefront at 441 Broadway. Once open, Darling Doughnuts will become the only shop fully dedicated to doughnut-making in Downtown Saratoga.
“I’ve developed more than 75 flavors since I started Darling Doughnuts in the summer of 2018,” says Darling Doughnuts’ 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 about a dozen flavors daily and rotate through her variegated lineup of doughnut recipes.
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.
The inside of the space at 441 Broadway, which used to be the Swedish Hill Winery, is currently undergoing a major transformation. Pearl-Mansman plans to brighten the location up with some fun, bold colors and a blend of both old and new decor. “There is some shiplap [siding] and beadboard paneling, as well as subway tile and metal accents,” says Pearl-Mansman, about her plans for the unique, retro interior. “We’re even planning on having a cool neon sign for the front.”
Born and raised in Glens Falls, Pearl-Mansman went to college in Brooklyn, 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 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 dougnuts. In 2019, Pearl-Mansman partnered with another upstate local, with doughnut shop dreams, Co-owner Glenn Severance, and not even a full year later, the two are on the cusp of opening their first brick-and-mortar store. “Without the support of my husband and family, I wouldn’t have gotten off the ground,” says Pearl-Mansman. “I definitely think this area has been yearning for artisan doughnuts, and that’s part of the reason [why] my business took off so quickly.”
Darling Doughnuts’ storefront hours will be Wednesday through Sunday, 9am-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.”