ATLANTA — The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic revealed a gap in the yeast-raised donut market that Wil Torres set out to fill —  individually packaged yeast-raised donuts. When fresh donut cases emptied due to concerns of spreading the virus, fresh donut manufacturers struggled to adapt the packaging. 

In response to that need, Mr. Torres in 2021 founded Golden Dough Foods, Winter Park, Fla., and its two brands: Golden Dough & Co. and La Panadería Dulce. The company began rolling out product in March 2022 and exhibited them at the International Dairy, Deli, Bakery Association’s Annual Show, held June 5-7 in Atlanta.

The company centers on full-sized, yeast-raised donuts that are individually packaged and boast a 75-day shelf life at ambient temperature. Both brands include classic flavors like glazed and chocolate, but also attention-grabbing flavors like Hot Honey Glaze for Golden Dough & Co. and Spicy Mango for La Panadería Dulce. 

La Panadería Dulce not only attempts to fill the gap of packaged yeast-raised donuts but also reach the under-served Hispanic consumer with Spanish-first marketing and flavors that resonate. 

“Donuts are 25% of sales at c-stores, and no one is reaching this segment in terms of flavors,” Mr. Torres said. 

With 18 varieties developed and ready to be rolled out across both brands, Mr. Torres hopes to be the Oreo of donuts. 

“Mondelez is always in front of the retailer and the consumer with their LTOs,” he said. “We have big plans for the seasonal holidays and our one-year anniversary in terms of flavors.”