Rich Labriola of Labriola Baking Company (Courtesy of Leigh Loftus/ThinkLeigh…)
What happens when an accomplished artisan bread maker teams up with a doughnut-making legend? Thanks to Stan’s Donuts opening in Wicker Park by mid-October, Chicago will soon find out.
But artisan bread maker Rich Labriola, owner of Labriola Baking Company, doesn’t want just another doughnut shop. “We need to have the best doughnuts around, no ifs, ands or buts,” he said.
Labriola plans on taking his 20 years of bread-making experience to give the doughnuts a more complex, unique taste by adding bread starters. “Most doughnuts just have that big pow of sweetness, and then it’s gone,” he said.
The baker sought out Stan Berman, owner of Stan’s in Westwood, Calif., featured on the Food Network’s “Doughnut Dreams,” to make his idea work. Berman has more than 50 years of gourmet baking experience.
“He is so passionate about what he does,” Labriola said of Berman. “He is 83 years old and still there everyday. In 35 years, I hope to be the same way.”
Together, the two will set up shop at 1560 N. Damen Ave, the former home of Skewerz. Labriola describes the neighborhood as the perfect place for their first location with a great energy, walking traffic and a close proximity to Damen Blue LIne station. He hopes it will become a “true doughnut and coffee shop.”
“Chicago doesn’t need another little gourmet doughnut shop, and we wanted a true identity.” While Labriola has more than 30 ideas for twists, he is starting out by perfecting the classic cake and glazed doughnut. “It’s more of a daily doughnut shop,” Labriola said. “Just making great, simple doughnuts.”
The 1,300-square-foot shop will have about 20 seats and serve coffee as well as homemade gelato.
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