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Collective Countdown Part 3: Theo's Doughnuts

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Welcome to #CollectiveCountdown. We’ve partnered with the developers of The Collective Kitchens + Cocktails to bring you interviews and info about the 11 chefs and concepts chosen for the soon-to-open Midtown food hall. Major thanks to Okie Pokie and Chick-n-Beer for sponsoring these posts.

There was one word that stood out when Ryan Kennedy, co-owner of Theo’s Doughnuts with his wife Morgan Kennedy, started talking about the new doughnut shop they’re bringing to The Collective. One word that started me salivating. One word that is going to make a big difference when they open.

Brioche.

Oh, sweet brioche. It’s a pastry that’s not quite bread, but it’s crazy rich, buttery and extremely decadent.

“They’re pillowy soft. Very satisfying,” Ryan said. “It’s surprisingly less of a sugar rush compared to a typical doughnut, too. With normal doughnuts, they’re so sugary that after one my teeth hurt.”

The Kennedys met at OSU and, as many young grads are wont to do, spent the next several years traveling around the world. They set up a home base in Seattle and became obsessed with doughnuts. Everywhere they went, they were trying new varieties and flavors.

At some point, they decided to return to the Sooner State and start their own business.

“Before all this, I would say I could barely make an Eggo waffle,” Ryan said. “But I had this style of doughnut in my head, so I started making them at home.”

His skills improved and soon he was bringing friends over to taste them. They began doing pop-up doughnuts shops at Plenty Mercantile and getting a lot of positive feedback.

“We had started pursuing opening up a doughnut shop before we knew about The Collective,” he said. “We’d been doing pop-ups here and there and then one of my friends sent me a link about The Collective and I said, ‘That’s exactly what we need.’”

It’s been a meteoric rise, but the Kennedys think they have what it takes to succeed: a killer product with a laser focus.

Their brioche doughnuts will either be filled or glazed and they’re looking to have about a dozen varieties at about a $3 price point.

“We plan to have four different filled doughnuts: a vanilla bean (made with real vanilla), a chocolate hazelnut, a lime cream and we’ll rotate in a seasonal jam,” he said.

And for those interested in a more savory option, Kennedy said they’re working on a more savory option for Theo’s customers.

Be sure to come back next week for another #CollectiveCountdown, brought to you by Okie Pokie and Chick-n-Beer. And keep an eye on thecollectiveokc.com for more info as the food hall prepares to open.

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About the Author

Founder and Eater-in-Chief of I Ate Oklahoma, Greg Elwell has been reviewing restaurants and writing about Oklahoma’s food culture for more than a decade. Where a normal person orders one meal, this guy gets three. He is almost certainly going to die young and those who love him most are fairly ambivalent about it. You can email Greg at greg@iateoklahoma.com.

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