Pop-Up Artisan Shop Serves Unique Doughnuts In Broad Ripple
Photographer / Michael Durr
Those who’ve gotten wind of Indy Dough, a locally-owned doughnut business whose owner, Amanda Gibson, is based in midtown, have likely also heard how quickly she typically sells out of artisan doughnuts at her morning pop-up sales events at Studio C on East 54th Street.
“I’m selling out within an hour and sometimes within 30 minutes, and I’m putting a two-per-person limit on my sales now,” Gibson says. “The response has been great, and it’s humbling to see customers line up at 6:30 in the morning. I’m thankful for the partnership with Studio C. It’s been great to have a presence there.”
Gibson’s doughnuts are fried, not baked, with all-natural ingredients and no artificial dyes. She typically starts prepping her products the night before her Saturday morning pop-up events and then fires up the fryer at 2 a.m. in anticipation of the arrival of customers later that morning. She makes brioche doughnuts that consist of a yeast dough high in fat and egg content, as well as old fashioned and crullers – the latter made from choux pastry (a dough made with butter, eggs and flour).
“When people think doughnuts they probably think of Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts, and there’s nothing wrong with those but it’s not the type of doughnuts I’m making,” Gibson says. “Mine are more dense – they’re still fluffy though.”
Gibson tends to change up the flavors she uses, to keep things fresh for herself and her customers – although she says she’ll likely always include her cardamom vanilla sugar flavor. She’s offered lavender fennel glaze, roasted pumpkin with rosemary streusel, and blood orange poppy seed glaze among other selections at past pop-up events.
“At the last pop-up, I did more than I’ve ever done before, but it’s just me and I want to keep the focus on quality,” Gibson says. “I’m ok with selling out each time.”
Originally from Rensselaer, Indiana, Gibson lived in Jacksonville, Florida, for 10 years before relocating to the Hoosier state with her husband and son in the summer of 2019.
“My husband works from home, and as a stay-at-home mom I thought it would make sense to move back closer to my parents, who live in Monon, Indiana,” Gibson says.
Gibson was attracted to Indy as a mid-sized city like Jacksonville and was eager to immerse herself in a diverse, growing food scene.
“I always appreciated small businesses growing up — when my mom and I would go out to eat she would find those kinds of places to go to instead of the chains,” she recalls. “Also, I grew up on five acres and we made a lot of things from scratch and when going out to eat I would sometimes think, ‘I can probably do this by myself and maybe even make it better.’”
Gibson’s Indy Dough products are indeed made completely from scratch, and she certainly doesn’t sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity. So far she’s held six pop-up events on Saturday mornings at Studio C and has sold out relatively quickly every time.
“I got into baking while working in the restaurant industry and wanted more of a creative outlet so I started baking on my own,” Gibson explains. “I was contacted through social media in the fall of 2016 to open a doughnut shop for a place in Jacksonville called Good Dough. I did the majority of their recipes and did that up until we moved to Indy.”
After relocating, Gibson realized there weren’t any establishments around Indy that did doughnuts the way she was making them in Florida and saw an opportunity to fill a unique niche. She set to work revamping a few recipes and launched Indy Dough last fall.
“I might bring my capacity up in the future, but it’s nice doing it all on my own for now,” Gibson says. “It’s a good amount of work getting up at 2 a.m. and getting things ready for the pop-ups, but there’s something satisfying in doing it my way and seeing people enjoy what I’m making.”
For updates on Indy Dough products and pop-up events, visit their Instagram page at instagram.com/indydough.