I don’t often indulge in donuts, but when I do, they have to be better than good. They have to be great. The donuts from Ike and Jane of Athens, Georgia fit the bill with their flavor-rich treats like classic Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed and Nutella, and crazier concoctions like Elvis! (peanut butter, banana and bacon) and The Lumberjack (maple frosting with sausage). Seriously decadent and amazingly delicious. I had to learn the secrets of Ike and Jane.
Just Like Gram Used to Do
“We make all of the things you’ll see in our restaurant every day from scratch just like your grams used to,” their website reads. Named after the owners’ grandparents, the restaurant carries on a long-standing tradition of baking. They write, “Nana Jane is from a long line of bakers who originally owned the Tully Bakery, Located in Tully, NY. Ike & Jane ran the bakery for many years, but the family has since sold the business.”
So how does the family’s new generation of bakers interpret the culinary dream? Here’s what owner Corie had to say about how she and her business partner Matt created Ike and Jane Cafe and Bakery.
Michelle: What gave you your start in the donut business?
Corie: About 6 years ago, Matt called me to open a donut shop somewhat out of the blue. We are both great lovers of anything fried! But especially donuts! We started working on the recipes and getting the restaurant concepts together, and 6 months later, Ike& Jane was born!
Up Before the Birds
Michelle: So do you really keep baker’s hours, up before the birds and sleeping before the clock strikes midnight?
Corie: Matt and I both keep very irregular hours. Most weeks we work about 110 sporadic hours. Sleep is elusive at best! Matt owns several restaurants, bakeries & bars. I am lucky enough to be his co-owner and operator of Ike & Jane, which keeps me busy enough. I cant imagine overseeing several! But to more succinctly answer your questions: We’re both getting the worms WAY before the early birds and we rarely are early to bed. Our respective spouses don’t always find this amusing, but they do love it when we bring home food! So the complaints are pretty few and far between 😉
Michelle: How do you keep coming up with new flavor combinations?
Corie: Flavors are really determined by what we have on-hand in the store, and what our day-time bakers are seeing as trends in food culture. They help steer us in new directions, as they spend a better amount of time hunting down recipes and reading blogs. The day-timers are in charge of our cupcakes, and other assorted non-donut items that we keep around, but we like to keep a theme going on. With Fall coming in, you can expect to see some pumpkin, caramel, and apple-spice items hitting the shelves.
Michelle: How long does it take to make one donut, start to finish? How many people have a hand in creating them?
Corie: The donuts are a one-man-show every night. The whole process to crank out 20 dozen donuts takes about 4.5 hours. I’d say that if you wanted to make one glazed donut it would take about an hour once you factored in all of the time the dough needs to mix, rise, proof, fry, glaze and set.
Dozens and Dozens and Hundreds of Dozens of Donuts
Michelle: About how many donuts do you make in a week?
Corie: On early week-days (Monday-Wednesday) we make 20 dozen donuts. Thursday-Sunday we make close to 40 dozen. Roughly 180 dozen donuts are sold out of Ike & Jane every week.
It’s no wonder people keep flocking to Ike and Jane. The donuts are beautiful, the cafe is relaxing and bright, and if you talk like a pirate you can earn 10% off. Now that’s a mighty fine reason to head up to Athens. Aargh!
Visit Ike and Jane – in Normaltown
307 Prince Avenue
Athens, GA 30606
If you’re visiting the Georgia Museum of Art, stop by the Ike and Jane cart for sack lunches and salads.