Do Good Donuts, a local shop featuring quality, mini donuts opened February 28, 2018, on Fourth Street in Long Beach. The mission of Do Good Donuts is to celebrate goodness while offering a location bound to invite good times, good people, and good donuts. Unlike a traditional donut shop, there is no large, glass donut case in sight upon entering Do Good Donuts. Instead, Do Good Donuts exclusively serves mini, made to order donuts. Owner, Tyler Lee, said the menu of Do Good Donuts is derived from her fresh take on the typical donut shop. Each customer receives plenty of fresh, hot donuts – as the mini donuts allow one to try a bit of everything without going into a sugar-induced coma.
Lee began baking in her grandmother’s kitchen at the tender age of seven. As Lee entered middle school, baking developed into her hobby, especially around the holidays. Following high school, Lee attended Cal State Long Beach, where she majored in psychology.
During her senior year of college, Lee began working at a local mom and daughter bakery. She fondly remembers her time in the bakery and noted that “it was like going to work with friends every day.” Lee graduated from CSULB in 2009, just as the recession hit. It was a tough time to be a college grad; jobs were scarce and difficult to secure. Hence, Lee decided to stick to working at the bakery, where she moved up the ranks as a manager, eventually assisting in the opening of new locations.
Lee knew that she wanted to open shop in Long Beach, particularly on 4th Street, or Retro Row. She wanted to open an eatery that would bring people together; however, she had no intention of establishing a donut shop. Lee had no extreme affinity for donuts, but as the concept evolved, she proudly established her neighborhood donut shop, where friends could gather and share fun memories, all while eating quality desserts.
Do Good Donuts also boasts a vibrant drink menu. “Some people will just come in to get a good, basic cup of coffee,” Lee said. The Chai (an organic masala iced chai tea latte) and Almond Rose Cold Brew Latte are also hits. Lastly, Do Good Donuts serves a fresh fruit soda which combines a fresh, house-made strawberry syrup and Topo Chico, a Mexican sparkling mineral water, to create a light, fruity complement to any donut.
In the short time since opening its doors, Do Good Donuts has seen great success. Featuring classic donuts, like Cinnamon Sugar, and flavors curated for kids, such as Vanilla Bean and Sprinkles, Do Good Donuts has been consistently busy. With a growing Instagram following and plans to expand the menu in the coming year, Do Good Donuts will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in Long Beach.
All of Do Good Donuts donuts are made to order, ensuring fresh, quality products for each customer that walks in the door. The mini cake donuts are made entirely from scratch, along with the toppings. Although it sounds silly to call donuts, a dessert, wholesome, Lee said adamantly, “Our donuts are more wholesome” than ordinary donuts. Unlike traditional donut shops that serve donuts made out of a commercial mix, Do Good Donuts serves products with ingredients that one can actually pronounce. No foreign chemicals or additives can be found in this dough! Instead, Lee said that she, “Can probably count all of the ingredients on one hand.” Do Good Donuts uses simple ingredients, like eggs and milk, to craft their donuts. Also, many ingredients are local. For example, all of the dairy is from an independently owned farm in southern California. One of Do Good Donuts most popular flavors, All the Good Things, features S&P honey – local honey harvested in Long Beach.
In addition to having a core set of donuts, Lee rotates in two seasonal flavors every month. April has seen the addition of Fresh Strawberry Jam and Almond Glaze with Sliced Almonds donuts. These new flavors are based on Lee’s devotion to seasonal ingredients and fresh flavors. Lee said, “Lower the amount of ingredients, the more I like to make it,” which is a nod to her upbringing in Central California.
Lee has struck gold finding the perfect blend of sweetness in her donuts. The donuts, while tender and cakey, are not dense. The featured flavors in each donut come through clearly; however, each additional topping offers a positive contribution. All of the ingredients in Lee’s donuts work together harmoniously and do not overpower each other. Notably, all of the donuts are light and fresh, not weighed down by artificial ingredients. These mini donuts are refreshingly different from the traditional fare found at most donut shops.
Aside from being known as an up and coming donut shop by the locals, Do Good Donuts celebrates the revolution of women in business. Lee noted, “It is a really great time to be a female business owner.” Nearly every shop up and down Retro Row, 4th Street, is female owned, placing Do Good Donuts in excellent company. Lee attributes the success of women to the Me Too movement and is proud to represent successful female small business owners in Long Beach.
Lee went on to offer reassurance to any aspiring entrepreneur and said, “Don’t worry too much about what career you will end up in,” instead of encouraging one to focus on the journey. Looking back, never in Lee’s wildest dreams did she envision ending up as a small business owner; however, every experience along the way has helped her open up Do Good Donuts. “Things have a way of working themselves out and falling into place.”
Do Good Donuts has an exciting upcoming event: a grand opening party. Retro Row’s “Babes in Business” block party will celebrate Do Good Donuts official grand opening on Friday, April 27. Do Good Donuts is open Tuesday-Friday 7AM-4PM, and Saturday and Sunday 8AM-4PM. Lastly, Do Good Donuts is open late during “4th Fridays on Fourth,” a monthly event that celebrates community, complete with local artists and music.