Donut Sleep on Hoity Toity

The new Walnut Hills brick-and-mortar location serves up some truly decadent sweets.


The name of Susan Coach’s brand-new Walnut Hills bakery says it all, really: Hoity Toity Donuts serves some fancy fried dough. Developed to be exceptionally high-quality baked treats, from the brioche dough up to the layers of dessert-grade flavors and toppings, these artisanal pastries aren’t your mother’s donuts—even if the roots of this bakery do run back to Coach’s own childhood kitchen. “I love pastry arts,” she says. “It’s a passion of mine. My mom and I used to bake when I was little, so it’s nostalgic for me.”

While nostalgia may hold the Hoity Toity foundation, it was a chance encounter with some special donuts that started her down her road to artisanal donut-making.

“When we travel, my family and I always seek out the best donut shops,” Coach explains. “A few years ago, when we were traveling on the East Coast, we tried some amazing donuts. This was before artisanal donuts were actually a thing, and these just kind of stuck with me. When I got home, I was craving those donuts! So I was like, ‘Why not?’”

Coach took to the kitchen and, calling on her lifelong passion for baking, started, as she says, “messing around” in pursuit of that taste from her vacation. Most of us wouldn’t strike gold in such an endeavor, but she had the drive to keep trying until she hit on something truly spectacular. “I became kind of obsessed with it, my husband might say,” she laughs.

Once she’d finally developed a recipe that delivered the taste of that vacation donut, the obsession didn’t let up. “I was like, well, if I can do that, why not take it even further and come up with some unique flavors and different ideas and twists?”

This “small obsession” led Coach to an exceptional product, and she started wondering if her gourmet donuts might find fans beyond the walls of her kitchen. “I was like, this would be something amazing to bring to the city because there’s nothing like it. I started looking at it as a business idea and did a little research on whether it’s something viable.”

OCTOBER 2023She solicited taste tests from family and friends then, bolstered by positive response, in 2019 began selling donuts at pop-up events and the Hyde Park farmers market. She started making plans for her first brick-and-mortar location, but the COVID-19 pandemic put the plans on hold. “We used it as an opportunity to perfect our recipes and come up with more creative flavors and fusions.”

Opened in mid-September in Walnut Hills, a neighborhood Coach feels embodies the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity she wants to support, Hoity Toity’s flagship bakery is the culmination of her enthusiasm for pasty. Using in-season fruits and fresh spices, Coach promises a variety of seasonal flavors, all based on a strong foundation.

“We always say it’s like fine dining meets donuts, but we start from the basics,” she says. “The dough, for me, was the foundation of everything, so we were very particular about the quality. It’s a brioche dough that takes 24 hours or more to make.”

And as new customers find their way back for repeat visits, Coach points out some favorites will remain on the menu year-round. One could reasonably expect Hoity Toity’s longtime favorite Lemon Lavender to be on that list as well as the Cookie Butter donut, an instant Hoity Toity hit.

“When you bite into that donut, you get different textures and different flavors,” she says. “It’s almost like a palatable flavor excursion, for lack of a better term.”

OCTOBER 2023After a successful grand opening that saw the fresh donuts selling out (don’t worry, they’ve increased production), Coach is already looking ahead to what comes next for Hoity Toity, including a coffee and beverage program built around housemade syrups and some fall flavors for spooky season. She’s also gearing up for custom orders and catering in the coming days.

It’s a lot of work, Coach says, calling donut-making a “labor of love.” But she’s overjoyed to see her donuts getting some love in return.

“It’s been very humbling, just to see everyone line up to try these donuts,” she adds. “For me, that’s the most important part. It’s resonating with people.”

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