117 South Division Avenue
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With an agrarian upbringing based on old world traditions, Tory O’Haire- also known as the Starving Artist- is bringing the classic French patisserie to Grand Rapids with Propaganda Doughnuts,117 S. Division. The shop’s soft opening was held this past weekend.
O’Haire aims to switch people’s opinions of doughnuts and their food value.
“[I’m] adding value to something that people have written off as being absolutely valueless food,” says O’Haire. “Doughnuts don’t have to be the worst junk food in the world.”
The health-conscious shop offers doughnuts and pastries made with trans fat-free and low saturated fat oils, as well as local and organic ingredients.
“You don’t need to go over the top on sugar, and on salt and on fat because if it’s made correctly from good ingredients, it just tastes good,” says O’Haire.
The shop’s menu will primarily consist of doughnuts, but will also feature pastries, such as kouign amann, and cinnamon rolls. The pastries offered will change weekly and feature seasonal items such as fruit cake doughnuts. Jam made from local and seasonal fruits will be used to fill doughnuts.
Structured as a stop-and-go shop, Propaganda Doughnuts offers a more personable, market-style bakery, says O’Haire.
“We don’t do giant bakery cases of everything because we're pulling things fresh out of the kitchen on constant rotation,” says O’Haire.
The shop will also offer its own dark roast drip coffee.
The French style bakery keeps its local ties by partnering with other Grand Rapids businesses. Propaganda teamed up with Harmony Brewing Company to create the “Capricorn” dark chocolate absinthe stout and uses spent grains from Grand Rapids Brewing Company for its cinnamon rolls. Propaganda’s doughnuts can also be found at MadCap Coffee Company and Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge.
I've spent the past four years as a part-time Hoosier, part-time Michigander while attending Ball State University. Now that I'm done with college, I'm happy to be back in Grand Rapids to continue experiencing the awesome things our lovely city has to offer.