Opening Week News
Wow, what a week it’s been at CRAFT!
We were finally able to open for business "officially" as of last Monday, and you guys have been lining up ever since! Our super secret, quiet soft opening during the few days before that didn't turn out to be quite as soft as we thought, as we began selling out of donuts from day 1. We simply could not have prepared for the incredible turnout we have seen over the last 10 days, and to say we have exceeded our projections would be an understatement!
While we are ecstatic to see all the positive response and support from the community, we are equally as heartsick everyday to have to turn away first-time customers because we have run out too fast. It really is the least fun part of our day! Please believe us when we say that running out of donuts is not our goal, and know that we are working every day to find the best long-term solutions, so that we can happily serve everyone that comes to see us. Over the next few weeks, we will be receiving some additional kitchen equipment, reworking our storage space and hiring additional staff to try to increase our production amounts as quickly as possible.
All that being said, there will still be a limit to what we are able to do within these four walls. As a small-batch, scratch-made product, our donuts are simply more time intensive to make, and any shortcut to the process can result in inconsistencies with the dough. Some of you may have experienced that this week already, as we scrambled to increase our quantities day over day, resulting in a few donuts that maybe missed the mark. Lessons were learned in the process, and we can only promise to try to improve from here. We will also tell you that going forward we will never sacrifice on the quality of our donuts for sake of quantity.
Many people have asked us, "why don't you just make more donuts?" We sure wish we could, but it is not as easy as it may sound. Our yeast-raised dough, which is the base of 85% of our donuts, requires an overnight cold-fermentation process (meaning it has to get its rest, safely tucked in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.) Then the rolling, proofing and frying takes several more hours before we can even begin to add toppings. Once all 1000 donuts are made for the morning, the team starts measuring ingredients and mixing the dough for the next day, and we start all over again. We could add even more staff to try to speed some of this up, but there are only so many bodies that will fit in our kitchen at one time, and we want to ensure a productive and happy work environment for our team.
While we have had many highs and lows this week, we look forward to being a vibrant part of West Dundee for many years to come. Thanks so much to all of our patient and understanding customers, and especially to our amazingly talented staff that has been going above and beyond! We couldn’t do it without you!
Cheers to a new week and a chance to start fresh again,
Allison and John