Let's be honest... donuts are great. They're kind of like pizza or sex; even when they're not the best you've ever had, they're still good. Even those crappy, pre-packaged bags of little white powdered donuts at the gas station are ok when you're desperate for a donut on the go (admit it, you buy them too). Donuts from the grocery store are usually significantly better, but gourmet donuts? Oh yeah. Now we're taking donuts to an entirely different level.

Two Billings entrepreneurs are planning to introduce Billings to the delightful world of gourmet donuts and we're drooling with anticipation. I caught up with business partners Trevan Sparboe and Klay Welter today (2/17) to talk donuts and their new venture in the Billings food scene.

Proof Donuts & Coffee plans to open in mid-March.

Inspired in part by popular regional donut companies like the Portland-based Voodoo Donuts, Klay Welter has spent the last three years perfecting his donut recipe. Welter said that baking in Montana has presented some challenges. Dramatic temperate swings from one day to the next, humidity (or the lack of), and other factors can have an impact on how the dough behaves.

Photo by Proof Donuts & Coffee, used with permission
Photo by Proof Donuts & Coffee, used with permission
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Small batch, donut perfection coming soon to 24th and Broadwater.

They've been asked about the name, Proof Donuts & Coffee, and I learned that "proofing" is a term used by professional bakers. MasterClass.com says this,

Proofing is a step in bread- and viennoiserie-baking that activates the yeast in the dough. During fermentation, the yeast cells in leavened doughs (such as bread dough or pasta dough) consume carbohydrates and expel the carbon dioxide gas that causes the dough to expand, or rise. The term proofing can refer to any stage of fermentation, but is especially associated with the final rise that happens after dough is shaped, just before baking.

Proof will be taking over the restaurant and storefront at Kal's Chicken Coop in the small strip mall at 805 N 24th St W. They guys are waiting for their commercial-scale donut fryer to arrive soon and are hoping to open the storefront by the middle of March. They're still working out the logistics of the venture, as they are planning to still serve Kal's fried chicken, along with locally roasted coffee and their signature donuts.

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Photo by Proof Donuts & Coffee, used with permission
Photo by Proof Donuts & Coffee, used with permission
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Can't wait till March to try one of their donuts?

You might not have a choice. I've been watching these guys blow up on local social media, and they told me they've been completely swamped with orders. Wait times for a dozen are going to be quite long (until they open the retail shop) if you are lucky enough to get your name on the list. Not a bad problem to have, in the food business.

I had a great time chatting with the guys about donuts and the local food scene in Billings. You can listen to the interview below.

Do you have a story idea or news tip? Let me know! Michael.Foth@townsquaremedia.com

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