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Donuts – you need to try one

Every week a few visitors enter The Informer office seeking two particular things.
 |  Pauline Stewart  | 
Donuts – you need to try one

They want to know where the Glass Bottom Boat office is and they want to taste a donut from the bakery next door to the Glass Bottom Boat.   They seem very disappointed when they enter our office seeking either or both. Google Maps says that The Informer  is at the Glass Bottom Boat address. All three places are in Monk Street Whitianga.

We have written in The Informer about how wonderful the Glass Bottom Boat tour is, but we have not mentioned the donuts at Bay Bakery, right next door.

They are truly world famous and the recipe has not changed in years – it is just that the reputation of the donut has grown.

Some say it is the texture. Others say it’s the slightly crisp outer coating of the pastry before you get to the soft inner and the jam and cream. I didn’t know about the donut but was intrigued by the many comments from visitors of different accents all entering the office seeking what has been recommended to them.  Finally after purchasing one, the taste really was beyond expectations – simply morish and very satisifying. Mercury Bay is a tourist mecca for scenery and adventure, but the humble donut at Bay Bakery is on the bucket list of many tourists and a regular treat for a lot of residents.  This deep fried, fresh cream with jam, donut has earned a reputation that has people queuing in a long line on any holiday or weekend morning. Sharlene Bates and her Mum, Leanne, own Bay Bakery  and when they purchased it, clear instructions to not change the recipe were an obvious advantage.

“We would be stupid to change the recipe,” smiles Sharlene, “and it does help that we use the very best jam, fresh Anchor cream and the deep frying is important to the texture.”

The donuts come in three sizes – mini, medium and large.

Sharlee loves the bakery and she has  always been interested in cooking and enjoyed the kitchen. “I worked here for three months, before Mum bought the business. I have travelled a lot  and decided this was what I wanted to do. Mum wanted me to know exactly what it would be like before we took the step of purchasing.

I look after the management, operations and employment and Mum works here to help me. She didn’t want the worry of organising and managing everything.

Sharlee is very proud of her cooking and mentions that they make their croissants, ‘hot shots’ and quiches (vegetarian and bacon and egg) from start to finish in the bakery.   The “Hot Shots” (croissant toasted with salami and cheese filling) sell out very quickly but second to the donuts for popularity is the steak pies. We can’t bake pies here as we don’t have enough room. My wish is that the shop could be a little bigger. There is so much more we could bake.”

When asked what is the worst or most difficult part of running the  bakery, Sharlee is quick to respond. “Staffing is the most difficult.  I spend my day off, if I get one, going though CV’s. Soon we lose some of our best workers going to Uni or college.  I hate choosing one person above others but that’s what is necessary.”  Sharlee Bates is just  25 and handles her role as co-business partner and manager very calmly and competently. Whatever your current diet, I recommend you try at least the mini Bay Bakery donut.