There are donuts. And then there are DOUGHNUTS.
Donuts are those glazed confections you can find in tiny little donut shops on every street corner. DOUGHNUTS are what you can find at Frisco’s newest bakery sensation, Detour Doughnuts. And let me tell you, there is a difference.
Detour Doughnuts is the confectionary dream of Jinny Cho, a longtime Frisco resident and a woman with the donut business in her blood. Raised on the floor of her family’s donut shop, Jinny has been “in the business” her entire life. She understands the long hours and grueling work. She watched her parents grind, learning both resiliency and grit through their perseverance.
Yet, despite the donut life coursing through her veins, Jinny’s journey to Detour wasn’t a straight line. In fact, she originally set out to break away from the family business and pursued her degree in Biomedical Engineering at UTD.
But, as life often does, roadblocks, in the form of engagement and pregnancy and family illnesses, detoured her from the pursuit of her own dreams and brought her back to the family fold, while she helped her mother manage the family shops while her father was ill.
Trading in a dream for a difficult reality is never easy, and as she already knew, the donut world is a hustle.
It was an extremely difficult time in her life. She worked long hours, navigated messy family expectations and worked hard, all while pregnant and as a mother to a newborn. After years of pursuing a degree, this was not the expected route and it was filled with stress and pain and change.
But through all of these challenges, as she worked the family business a new dream began to form. Yes, her family’s shop was a traditional donut shop in every way, but Jinny began to dream of a new kind of doughnut shop, one that fit her quirks and her personality and also one where she could create her own kind of Doughnuts.
It was there, on the very same donut shop floor she slept and did homework on as a child, that Detour began to take shape. And one tumultuous year after graduating from college, getting married and having a baby, it opened.
The moment you walk in the door you see Jinny’s dream come alive. Everything — and I mean everything — within those walls is an expression of her heart and soul.
From the decor, minimal and tasteful, all hung by Jinny’s own hand, to the funky lattes (Goth latte with activated charcoal, anyone?) and the kitschy businesses they partner with, you realize that it is all purposeful, all created with intention. Nothing inside detracts from the main attraction, the beautiful and fanciful doughnuts.
These are not your typical donuts. They’re a far cry from ordinary.
Yet they are truly the most delicious doughnuts around. If you ask her, which many have, where these fanciful and unique flavor combinations come from, Jinny will demure, almost negating her creative genius.
I generally spent lots of time and money eating out, so it’s like I was making a flavor profile bank in my head without even realizing it. In addition to that, I grew up deep in Korean cuisine but also as an immigrant, I was naturally expected to step out of my culture’s cooking to constantly try new things in an effort to become more ‘Americanized’ or to assimilate. So honestly, there was an endless amount of inspiration I could pull from when it comes to flavors.
But with one bite or even one glance, you realize that there’s no denying the unique and creative mind behind these confections. These aren’t your traditional donut shop fare and Cho admits it took a little bit of time and a lot of convincing to get people to try them and fall in love.
I wanted to make sure when people walk into Detour, they will throw out everything they think they know about what a doughnut shop is supposed to be and that this openmindedness will extend into trying flavors they’ve never seen before on a doughnut- like our Fig & Mascarpone. The menu stays small and loosely curated so there’s space for creativity.
It was important to me that we have a say in our customer’s experience at Detour and define ourselves on our own as opposed to spending unnecessary time and energy fighting against whatever people think a ‘gourmet doughnut shop’ is supposed to be.
And this menu, can I brag on it for a second?
It’s filled with dreamy concoctions you might never imagine, yet it takes just one bite to bring you full circle. The Fig and Marscapone Doughnut? It’s delicious and even though it takes a sharp left turn from tradition, with Cho’s urging and creativity, it’s now become one of Frisco’s favorites.
But there’s so much more. Biscoff doughnuts that take the traditional airline snack cookies and elevate them with a gentle yet deep Biscoff cream. S’mores Doughnuts with marshmallow cream (a favorite of children everywhere). Creme Brule with a torched sugar glaze.
There’s no end to her creativity and execution. And these doughnuts are crave-worthy and fun.
Just like Jinny herself. This is a unique business run by an extraordinary young woman. Take one glance at her social media and you see this.
Her heart is within the community and she knows her customers and their stories. She’s digging into Frisco and setting down doughnut roots while still striving to improve Detour to be the best it can be.
I sat down with her for just one afternoon and left inspired and engaged, wanting to know more about Jinny and, yes, craving more of her Doughnuts. She’s smart, honest and open with laughter and a sense of wonder at her own success that is both endearing and engaging.
She’s not someone who has plans for doughnut domination in the Frisco area, in fact, her openness to the future and the possibilities is refreshing. She’s letting her success unfold as it’s supposed to without pushing her goals into a box.
Watching the success of Detour and reading the rave reviews, you would assume she has her eye on opening multiple shops and spreading the gourmet doughnut love. Yet surprisingly, she doesn’t. Instead, she has a strong opinion about how donut shops should be run, saying,
This really sucks for the potential growth of my business but I think the mom and pop approach is major in the doughnut world- gourmet or not. There’s something to be said about your ‘neighborhood doughnut shop,’ how you go there every morning or every weekend with your kids, say hello to familiar faces, and grab FRESH doughnuts for your family and friends. I’m not saying it needs to be a mom and a dad running the business but the doughnuts absolutely need to be fresh and the shop absolutely needs to be warm and welcoming. These things are the essentials to a doughnut shop.
And for a Frisco foodie like myself, I love her doughnuts and her heart for the community. I’m glad she is choosing to keep it local and sticking around Frisco for years to come.
Tues-Thurs: 6:00 am – 2:30 pm
Fri-Sun: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
8161 FM 423, Ste 250
Frisco, TX 75036