By PHILIP SANDZER
One of the latest entries into the London food scene is Crosstown Doughnuts.
DeVono had the pleasure of interviewing their CEO, so we hope you enjoy getting to know one of the tastiest new food concepts to hit our streets.
Crosstown is a gourmet doughnut brand from London. They pride themselves on making delicious, hand made doughnuts which are baked fresh daily.
One of their key points of difference is their dough, which comes from the DNA of sourdough starter, which was created with wild yeasts in the kitchen at The Providores Restaurant . They combine this natural levain with fresh bakers yeast to create a ‘hybrid’ Crosstown sourdough. The sourdough doughnuts have a resilient crumb structure with a slight chew. There is less fat absorption when deep-fried due to the stronger crumb.
With their first of many planned sites recently opened on Broadwick street, Soho, their CEO, JP, talked us through their brand and ideas in more detail.
Where did the name of the company / brand derive from?
The name Crosstown stems from the fact that the founders are all from different countries and have varied backgrounds. We are a collective. The word Crosstown is also a nod to the US where they have Crosstown buses in the larger cities such as New York – arguably the home of doughnuts.
Having now opened your first store, can you outline some of the major hurdles you encountered?
Getting the right sized space in the right location is hard enough. A lot of thought went into planning how best to utilise a compact store, whilst maximising the customer experience of our brand. As you say, it’s our first permanent store so it needs to make an impact.
How have you managed to create a successful premium brand in the face of stiff competition in the snacking market?
We stay true to our ethos – satisfying palettes with a fresh, handmade product where we control what we put in. We use the highest quality ingredients we can find and make everything in-house, whether a glaze, compote, jam or filling. We are also pushing the boundaries by exploring tasty flavour combinations. If you’re going to have a ‘snack’, you may as well have the best quality snack you can find. We remind this to ourselves every day.
With rising rents in central London, what does the future look like for specialist operators like yourselves?
Any independent operator will agree that getting real estate is tough, and it’s only getting tougher. You have to be a true specialist in your field to attract a loyal customer base. We are focused on doughnuts and coffee – we aim to do these well and hope that the crowds follow.
What have you noticed as the next big thing to hit our streets? Do you have your eye on any street food operator who will be the next Meat Liquor or Pizza Pilgrim?
Street food is changing so quickly – it’s been great to see it evolve, even in the past 12 or so months. My own personal favourite food trucks include Sub-Cult, who do a mean truffle beef sandwich, and Le Swine who have taken a bacon buttie to the next level.
How exciting is it to be part of the London food scene and what makes London stand out over other leading cities around the world?
I think London has become the food capital of the world. It’s pushing boundaries across all cuisines and platforms, whether market stalls, pop-ups or permanent locations. Londoners have truly embraced cuisine, which is why so many operators are coming over.
DeVono are currently advising Crosstown on the search for multiple new sites, so please feel free to direct any ideas or questions you have to our team.
Crosstown Doughnuts can be found at 4 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F and checkout the website here
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