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Brewnuts' Craft Beer Concoctions—From Passion to Production
Shelly Fasulko and John Pippin in 2013 combined their passion for craft beer and doughnuts and developed decadent beer-based donuts and their start-up, Brewnuts. The couple has since been crafting by hand and dipping by hand this one-of-a-kind treat utilizing local craft beers and turning local elixirs into tasty confections such as Dogfish Head Punk’n Ale-spiked doughnuts with pumpkin and caramel glaze, Maple Bacon Bourbon Ale Donuts, or Hard Cider Apple Donuts.
Though started in Fasulko’s West-side home as a hobby, with the aid Bad Girl Ventures and Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen, Brewnuts has become sustainable transforming a love of beer into a new food-based venture. Brewnuts is now sold at Cleveland coffee shops, the Cleveland Flea and other pop-up venus around Cleveland. Moreover, the menu is ever changing with the seasonality of the offered local brews.
Moving from the Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen Brewnuts expanded into the Tremont Storefront Incubator Program where they fine-tuned their product and their business while working out of a tiny temporary storefront. Before long, Brewnuts had become popular with the locals and their operations expanded though their physical location didn’t. The business meanwhile received widespread acclaim from various publications, including a recent article from CNN, 16 intriguing things to see and do in the U.S. in 2016. Due to the company, “marrying two great nutritional groups: beer and doughnuts” they became a key reason to visit Cleveland.
“There was this perfect storm going on with the beer boom that was happening in Cleveland and all of these great artisan food businesses starting up,” Fasulko says of the concept’s genesis. “Our idea was to come up with a Cleveland version of something really unique to do with donuts.”
Brewnuts’ owners decided they needed a larger permanent space to accommodate their growth.
The proposed new location will be on a prominent corner in the heart of Detriot Shoreway Neighborhood in the Gordon Square Arts District where they will be able to serve their home-made donuts fresh from the fryer for which they are now reknown. For the first time their storefront will have an onsite kitchen allowing them to expand their product line. In addition, the new café will feature selected local craft beers used in their donut-making process with room enough for 75 customers. Brewnuts will be located in 1,200 square feet at 6501 Detroit Avenue, which is the former ward office of Councilman Matt Zone.
The City of Cleveland will be supporting the new location of Brewnuts with a $40,000 loan under the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program. Brewnuts will retain two full-time jobs and will be creating three new positions.
“Of course we want to make Cleveland’s best donut – and the world’s best donut – but at the end of the day if we’re giving people an experience that is better than what they went in there thinking they would have, that’s what I’m excited about,” says Fasulko. “Donuts are what we’re serving, but the bigger goal for us is giving people a great experience and making them happy.”
During the RNC
Brewnuts will make their donuts availabe in multiple locations during the RNC. Find them at the gala at Voinovich Park on opening night. Their donuts can also be found at The Q but for specific events. If you attend the UnConvention Market (a component of the Cleveland Flea) in Gordon Square on Saturday the 23rd, you will also be able to find them there from 11am-2pm.
Follow Brewnuts on Facebook and on Twitter. For additional information on the Neighborhood Retail Assistance Program or if you have questions about this project please contact Stephanie Phillibert at 216.664.3627.