If you start looking online about donuts, you’ll see a popular concern about how long they last. This was precisely the issue that Wil Torres wanted to tackle while providing a quality option for everyone who loves the sweet snack.
That’s how Golden Dough Foods came to life.
With its headquarters in Winter Park, Golden Dough Foods is home to Golden Dough & Co. and La Panadería Dulce (The Sweets Bakery) brands, which Torres says is making the first-ever individually wrapped, full-sized, yeast-raised donuts with extended shelf life at mass scale.
“We’ve achieved and tested 75 days of shelf life. So the goal there is for it to eat and taste as good on day one, as it does on day 5, 15, 25, 30, 60, 75, ”said Torres, a Puerto Rican entrepreneur.
The donuts are still a work in progress but they are close to launching in the next few months in retail stores. Torres says he is confident they will sell well.
“If you launch perfectly, you launched too late, in my opinion,” he said. “So we will also learn once we are full out with our product.”
Golden Dough & Co. has five proprietary recipes, and about 18 other flavors in the works.
Among the flavors are the signature Golden Glaze, Strawberry Flavored Glaze, and Hot Honey Flavored Glaze, while La Panadería Dulce, a homage to Torres’ Latin roots, kicks off its Dona line with their Mango Flavored Glaze and Spicy Mango Flavored Glaze.
The idea came after years of working with Krispy Kreme and helping that company expand its brand and products to retailers around the US.
Torres, a consumer-packaged goods veteran with a history of developing profitable concepts that generate growth for retailers and wholesalers alike, helped manage RxBar and PopCorners when they were startups as well as established brands including Boulder Canyon and CheriBundi.
He was also the one in charge of developing and executing a factory-to-shelf packaged pastry program when he was with TSW Foods.
“I came up with the idea for Golden Dough Foods because I felt there was a need in the market for something new, yet familiar,” Torres said. “When consumers desire an indulgent treat, our donuts make a great on-the-go snack, or they can be enjoyed at home whenever it’s time for a small comfort food snack.”
To achieve the freshness and quality that does not take away from the taste, Torres says he and his team have developed proprietary technology that works into extending the shelf life within donuts.
He works with food scientists that use the science of water migration “to create the blends that we have that allow for yeast to be raised, because there’s cake, which is the heavier one, preserves moisture, but extends its shelf life.”
Most of the items, Torres says, have anywhere from 33 to 68 days of shelf life. He points out that unlike donuts that quickly become hard or stale, Golden Dough Foods’ varieties can last on shelves for months.
His unique individual wrapping ensures the customer that they will have a fresh product, but Torres says it also “gives the retailer peace of mind that they are getting a product that is not going to go bad on the shelf.”
In the future, he says, he wants to become the Oreos of the donut industry.
“You see how they keep coming up with flavors, with different fillings,” he said. “There is a market for all types of tastes buds and cultural backgrounds have different tastes, so we want to cater to everyone.”