From Kitchen to Store Front: The Chelsea Elliot Story
La Dona Donuts
- Location4567 Bee Ridge Road
- OwnerChelsea Elliot
- Most Popular DonutMaple Bacon
Over the past few years, we’ve seen donut shops pop up all over the country. And with the rise of social media channels like Instagram and Snapchat, food envy (more specifically donut envy) has become a real thing. Seeing the popularity of these donut trends, one woman was determined to bring these fried treats to her hometown of Sarasota, FL – even though she’d never made one in her life. Around Christmas in 2014, Chelsea Elliott was gifted a mixer and the rest is history! She now owns La Dona Donuts, Sarasota’s first gourmet donut shop, a unique destination for families and foodies alike.
What started as a trial-and-error process helped Chelsea create her now famous La Dona cake donut. Early 2015, she started cranking-out 16 varieties of these bad boys and was selling mostly to friends and family. In a Sarasota Foodies article, she admits she was only marketing through her website and social media pages and working out of her home kitchen. But it wasn’t long before word of mouth and the support of those closest to her helped her become one of the most sought after desserts in town! La Dona started out as an online delivery service and a featured treat at Perq coffee bar. To support this, Chelsea was up before 4 am every day to fill all of her orders. Talking to Unravel, she reveals that she once made 220 donuts from her kitchen for a day’s order! Due to the high demand for her donuts and rising popularity on Instagram, the storefront seemed like the next step.
With over 4,000 followers on Instagram and a storefront open six days a week, La Dona Donuts has grown to be a Sarasota staple. You can still order a dozen online to be delivered to your location of choice for a small fee, but now you can also stop in the store and satisfy your sweet tooth with her one-of-a-kind flavors. Her in-store menu changes weekly depending on the season and trends, so you never know what you’re going to get! She’s expanded to do catering for weddings and other large events, putting La Dona on the map for real. Some of her seasonal flavors include Peppermint Egg Nog topped with a Peppermint Schnapps and Egg nog Glaze and Santa’s Milk and Cookies complete with crushed homemade chocolate chip cookies. Her most popular donut? “Definitely maple bacon”, Chelsea tells Unravel. Just hitting one year with the storefront, the future is looking bright (and delicious) for Chelsea and La Dona Donuts!