Famed cronut finally debuts in city

This story originally appeared in the Charleston Daily Mail on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.

The cronut has landed.

More than six months after the flaky, deep-fried confection took New York City by storm, Charleston residents can now get a little piece of the action.

Sarah’s Bakery on Bridge Road debuted its version of the half-croissant, half-doughnut last Friday, and has already created a stir among the city’s sweet teeth.

On Friday, the bakery sold all four-dozen of its cronuts within an hour. Owner Sarah Plumley fried up another four-dozen cronuts the next day and sold out within 45 minutes.

“I literally had a line of people come in,” she said.

Some customers called to reserve a cronut, but Plumley said she is not taking pre-orders. If she did, there might not be any left for walk-in customers.

“They’ll sell out before I cook them,” she said.

Plumley had never made a cronut before receiving her deep fryer last week, but researched recipes online, reading articles on blogs and watching YouTube videos.

“Apparently, they are a huge hit in the Philippines,” she said.

Although cronuts are a relatively simple treat – it’s just croissant dough shaped into a ring and deep-fried – Plumley said preparing them is a very labor-intensive process.

“You’ve got to make the dough, let it rise, fry them, let them cool and then fill them,” she said.

Sarah’s Bakery has a small kitchen and a small deep fryer to match, which limits Plumley’s ability to churn out large batches of the flaky pastries.

Just making the dough is a long process. Croissant dough is known for its flaky layers, but to achieve that effect, Plumley must subject the dough to round after round of folding and rolling. That’s why Sarah’s sells its cronuts for $4.25 apiece.

Customers are more than happy to pay the price for Plumley’s hard work, however.

“I’ve had a lot of people coming and saying ‘Finally cronuts come to Charleston,’ ” she said.

Except the bakery cannot call them “cronuts.” That name is trademarked by Dominique Ansel, who invented the pastry in his New York bakery.

“I’m just calling them ‘croissant doughnut,’ ” Plumley said.

The bakery currently is offering two standard flavors, brown sugar bacon chocolate and vanilla cream, but Plumley hopes to experiment with more flavors in the coming weeks. She plans to make strawberry cronuts for Valentine’s Day.

The bakery will continue selling the pastries on a first-come, first-served basis for the time being. She recommends customers show up around noon to get one.