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Get To Know: Knead Doughnuts

On the weekends, you may have been lucky enough to snag a doughnut in our cafe before they sell out. Yummy, fresh, and delicious they are indeed Knead Doughnuts from Providence, RI! As one of our newer collaborations to our own Briggs cafe it is safe to say we are excited for the chance to interview a local, small business!

Knead Doughnuts was founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Adam Lastrina, Todd Mackey and Bryan Gibb. The trio recognized a “doughnut-shaped” hole in the market and started their venture. Being one of the first few doughnut shops in the area, they were at the front lines of the doughnut boom about to begin. The company prides itself on made-from-scratch doughnuts daily using local and fresh ingredients. Their menu is diverse while still delivering the timeless classics we all enjoy.

We were grateful for the opportunity to speak with Knead’s very own General Manager, Brittany DeCosta, at their newest location at 9oo Smith St in Providence. Let’s learn a little more from Brittany herself…

Q: What is Brittany’s position in the company and how long has she been at Knead Doughnuts?

A: Brittany started at Knead in 2017, only six months after the business opened, and is now the general manager. She decided to join Adam on this new venture after working together previously at Seven Stars Bakery. Brittany calls herself the “Jill-Of-All-Trades” since her work encompasses everything from retail department management to working alongside wholesale clients and event planning.

Q: How has Knead Doughnuts expanded over the years?

A: Starting with only one brick-and-mortar location, Knead now currently has five retail locations within Rhode Island and a separate commercial-grade kitchen for production. The main hub of activity, according to Brittany, is their location at 139 Elmgrove Avenue in the East Side of Providence. They have kept true to their small business roots and typically keep a small staff of one to five employees per location.

Q: What time does a typical day at Knead start?

A: It all begins in the kitchen at 5 a.m. with production. Everything at Knead is made fresh daily by hand. Before the doughnut gets to you it is hand cut, hand glazed, hand shaped and hand stuffed. The cycle then starts again, in the kitchen, around 4 p.m. to begin preparation for the following day.

Q: How many doughnuts does Knead produce in a single day?

A: Upwards of 4,000 to 4,500 doughnuts a day. There must be a great “knead” for delicious doughnuts! And not to worry, on the days they do not sell out, all of those doughnuts are donated to local ministries, shelters and Rhode Island’s own Elisha Project. Nothing is sold from the day before since Knead prides itself on freshly made doughnuts daily.

Q: What is something people would be surprised to learn about Knead Doughnuts?

A: Simply the fact of just how much time and work goes into the doughnut making process. Everything is done by hand and it is all a labour of love.

Q: What is Knead’s mission as a company?

A: “Good Doughnuts Made Well”. Knead takes pride in their product and ability to make high quality doughnuts within a casual, friendly atmosphere for the community. Their customers are diverse, from busy moms to full-time college students, and they want every person to feel welcome.

And where there are doughnuts there is fun…

Q: What is Brittany’s favorite doughnut?

A: Blueberry Lemon Basil. Visit them in the summer for a taste!

Q: Which is the most underrated doughnut at Knead?

A: The Vanilla Glazed. It’s one of the best sellers, but it’s overlooked simply because it is an ever-present classic.

Q: What is Brittany’s dream Knead location?

A: She would like to take Knead on the road with a doughnut truck! It would give the company opportunities to attend more events such as pop-ups, visiting breweries and attending farmer’s markets.

Thank you to Brittany DeCosta for giving us a glimpse into the doughnut universe that is Knead Doughnuts. A small, local business that we love to support and we hope you will as well. Make sure to give Knead Doughnuts a follow on social media to see where the future takes them!

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