Glazy Susan makes doughnuts. Not just any kind of doughnuts. We’re talking about scratch-made doughnuts using locally sourced ingredients. And, besides being Worcester's first specialty doughnut company, they’re also located at the DCU Center (Door 15A) at the corner of Foster and Commercial Street.
We had a chance to sit down with Joe and Susan, owners of Glazy Susan, along with Olive, their adorable Goldendoodle, for a fun-filled Q&A to talk doughnuts, coffee, and so much more!
What inspired you to open Glazy Susan?
It started with a trip to Los Angeles in 2015. We encountered unique doughnuts that we’d never seen before in our area (maple bacon?!). From there it became our tradition to find the best doughnut shop in each city that we visited. Eventually we noticed that every time we returned home to Worcester; we didn’t have the specialty doughnut experience here. We picked up on certain aspects that made some doughnut shops better than others: from-scratch recipes and locally sourced ingredients. We wanted to bring that experience here to our hometown.
How did you come up with the name ‘Glazy Susan’?
We like puns! It’s a play on the term “Lazy Susan”, but "Glazy" instead of "Lazy" because of glazed doughnuts. And Susan was already perfect because it’s our founder’s first name. Also, lazy Susans are round and so are doughnuts. It all made perfect sense!
How is Glazy Susan different from other doughnut shops?
We take an artisanal approach with our doughnuts, making doughs, fillings, and glazes from scratch. We don't use the commercially made dough mixes, glazes, and fillings here, which DOMINATE the doughnut industry. Our brioche dough takes over 24 hours from start to finish. We use simple ingredients that most people would have in their pantry (King Arthur flour, Cabot butter, etc.). We also strive to support other local farmers and makers by using local ingredients whenever possible. Our processes are time and labor intensive, and frankly more costly, but we truly believe that the result is superior.
We tend to get looped in with every other doughnut shop, but we feel that we’re doing something completely different.
What kind of beverages do you offer?
We serve coffees, teas, milk teas, matcha lattes, and seasonal offerings like the strawberry matcha latte and the lavender lemonade, featuring local lavender. We offer almond, soy, and oat milks for folks who don’t drink dairy. Our signature drinks are the Vietnamese iced coffee with ube cold foam and the iced matcha latte with ube cold foam. For those unfamiliar, ube is a purple sweet potato and it has a slightly nutty, vanilla flavor. The purple color is striking too!
We use coffee beans roasted in small batches right here in Worcester from our friends at Acoustic Java. We currently offer hot coffee featuring our Glazy Susan custom house blend, as well as a Sumatra cold brew. This fall, we'll be expanding our coffee offerings when we roll out our espresso program. We're super excited about that!
What is a mochi doughnut?
A mochi doughnut is a hybrid between an American doughnut and Japanese mochi, which is a chewy dessert traditionally made with glutinous rice flour. We make a style of mochi doughnut called "pon de ring" which is 8 small connected dough balls. The texture is chewier than a cake style doughnut and it's fun to pull apart and eat. This style of doughnut is popular in Asia, Hawaii, and the American west coast. We first tried it in Los Angeles and wanted to bring it to Worcester.
We started offering mochi pon de ring doughnuts in December of 2020 right here at the DCU Center. At that time, we were the ONLY shop in all of New England offering this style of doughnut. You had to travel to Manhattan to find the next closest shop. This is something that we are very proud of!
How do you brainstorm unique flavors?
We take inspiration from our heritage. Susan is Vietnamese, and we tend to have an Asian influence on many of our flavors. We also take inspiration from the seasons. We like to plan menus based on seasonally available produce, or from traditional flavors associated with certain holidays or times of year. We also take mental notes when tasting pastries and desserts when we travel and do our best to recreate them in doughnut form.
What’s the most popular doughnut flavor?
Interestingly enough, the most popular flavor continues to be the Glazy Susan, our namesake 24-hour brioche doughnut with a vanilla and local honey glaze. It's simple, but so delicious! Our next most popular flavor is usually our signature filled ring. We make a unique style of ring doughnut that has a hole in the middle, but it's also filled. So, each bite has the perfect dough to filling ratio. By far, the most popular flavor of filled ring is the guava cheesecake, which is on the August menu right now!
Do you offer an incentive/rewards program?
We do! Customers can join the Glazy Gang rewards program where they earn points for each purchase and can redeem points for doughnuts and beverages. They also receive a free birthday reward. We offer double points every Thursday for members.