Back in 2015, Michigan State University graduates Andrew Gauthier and Monica Lucas opened their first ‘60s and ‘70s themed bakery known as Groovy Donuts in Williamston. The retro shop officially became a small franchise in 2016 when they added their second location in East Lansing. The duo felt the Mid-Michigan area was in need of a unique local bakery and gave it a go with their own psychedelic twist on the industry.
What inspired the vintage rock look? Andrew: Doughnut shops in general are kind of a retro concept. Cafes and bakeries were more common back then and locally owned. I hear stories from grandparents and other folks from the baby boomer crowd that were really nostalgic for these types of places, so I thought it would really fit the timeframe we are in. The music and the posters in the shop are a representation of the late ‘60s, early ‘70s era. I think the theme, overall, is appealing to a lot of people.
Beside your aesthetic, what makes Groovy Donuts special?
Andrew: They are made as fresh as they could possibly be. We work throughout the night to make sure that the product that you get is fresh. We invest in high quality ingredients and we make our prices very reasonable.
Everything is hand-rolled, hand-cut and handmade — we don’t rely on machinery and other things.
Our coffee is roasted fresh every week from Bloom Coffee Roasters. The quality of the flavor, the smoothness and the complexity of the subtle flavors underneath the main coffee adds something different. It’s not your typical diner coffee, which I think sets us apart.
How do you craft the recipes? Andrew: Before we opened, I scoured the state to visit as many doughnut shops as possible. I had the opportunity to meet with different owners and bakers. There was also a lot of searching on the web, as well as just going through trial and error.
What’s special on the menu right now? Andrew: We have the basics: glazed, filled, cream custard, a wide variety of cake doughnuts and beer infused doughnuts. We do a lot of holiday and seasonal themed doughnuts. Right now we have apple cider and pumpkin spice doughnuts and in a few weeks, we will start with our ginger bread doughnuts for the Christmas season.
What keeps people coming back to Groovy Donuts?
Andrew: A lot of it has to do with the fact that we really care about the quality of the products and the service here, and I think our customers recognize that. We also server a darn good cup of coffee and doughnuts.
Monica: We really care about our community and try our best to help others.
Everything that we have left over at the end of the day, we give it away to people who don’t have access to food. We visit food banks, homeless shelters and look after the mentally disabled.
What have been the highs and lows since opening?
Andrew: Highs would include the first grand opening, our first Fat Tuesday and the second grand opening in East Lansing. A low would be coping with having to manage two stores. You have a lot more things to keep track of when you can only be at one place at a time. You also have a higher demand of doughnuts to make.
Groovy Donuts 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday 3054 E. Lake Lansing Road, East Lansing (517) 580-7302 www.groovydonuts.com