A bite back in time with Walker's Doughnuts

A bite back in time with Walker’s Doughnuts | The Cultivator Spring 2021

A bite back in time with WALKER’S DOUGHNUTS

Bite into a Walker’s Doughnut and you’ll step back in time to the Golden Age of Americana, with dynamite doughnuts, malted milkshakes and classic hot dogs.

Heading up the nostalgic brand are Co-Founders, Owners and “Head Doughnuteers”, Jim and Rose Stoupas who say their business combines a memorable time in history with a deep passion for baking

“We’re inspired by the classic tastes of the American post-war era with food that evokes a sense of yesteryear, where food tasted fresh and where warm and genuine service was expected,” Mrs Stoupas said.

Mr Stoupas said his family started baking in Europe four generations ago and then travelled to the United States in the 1950’s establishing a family bakery in Queens, New York.

“I grew up in a family of bakers; from my dad, right up to my great, great grand-dad, so you could say we were baking obsessed,” Mr Stoupas told The Cultivator.

Growing up in a Dutch family, Mrs Stoupas reflects fondly on eating olie bollen (a traditional Dutch pastry like a doughnut, deep-fried, filled with raisins, and dusted with sugar), during many family occasions.

“Being young and frivolous, when we started dating, on Friday night’s we would try and outdo each other on who could find the best doughnuts, usually pineapple flavoured,” Mrs Stoupas recalls.

Out of this infatuation for doughnuts, Walker’s Doughnuts was born with Mr and Mrs Stoupas opening their inaugural iconic store at Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Victoria in 2006.

“When you visit us, you are tasting something truly special; something that is missing in the age of fast fads and even faster food,” Mrs Stoupas said.

“Our service is warm, genuine and quick, serving homemade food that has evolved from many years of tried and trusted traditional and classic processes.

“We love everything American, from old fashioned hospitality, the excitement of eating out, to good-old classic food that is beautifully made to reflect a time when customers were truly valued.

“From classic glazed, jam-packed, lemon cream, French toast to maple bacon flavours, we’re constantly inspired by American flavours with twists,” said Mrs Stoupas.

With more than 40 varying flavours offered in-store, Mrs Stoupas said their doughnuts were handmade daily using traditional techniques.

This includes the magic of long yeast fermentation, combined with the Walker’s Doughnut Premix, customised and exclusively produced by family- owned Australian Manildra Group.

“That’s how we get ‘em so fluffy, so fresh and so tasty!” she laughed. Walker’s Doughnuts started franchising in Victoria in 2013 from Airport West, Southland, Highpoint to Bendigo and everywhere in between.

In 2017, long-term franchise consultant, strategy advisor and friend Kevin Bugeja joined the team with his expertise in brand development and franchisee procurement – critical for the growth and success of the company.

Walker’s Doughnuts is adding online ordering via a personalised app, and has expanded to twelve Victorian stores with more joining the ranks each month, including interstate expansion by the end of 2021.

“Every franchise partner is part of the family; everything for us is born from family. As a local business, we’re also supporting our local communities,” Mrs Stoupas said.

“We instil in all our franchisees, that everything we do is with the customer in mind – without them, we are not here. Authenticity, generosity, pride and community are fundamental to everything we do. We take pride in our stores, presenting our products with generous fillings, and showing authenticity with beautiful and real flavours.

“We’re so proud of our products, we want to be proud to put the ‘Walker’ name behind anything we do and make. We’re constantly striving to be better with our product range – the very best ingredients, fresher, longer lasting, and new innovative flavours.

“When customers say, they love Walker’s Doughnuts, we beam with pride, we want everything we do to be as attractive and tasty as possible,” said Mrs Stoupas.

Freshly baked daily at Walker’s Doughnuts state-of-the-art factory in Campbellfield, Victoria, doughnuts are delivered to stores where they are decorated.

Trained Food Technologist, Mr Stoupas worked collaboratively with Manildra Group’s research and development team to create their customised doughnut premix (Walker’s Doughnuts Premix) and custard powder (Walker’s Doughnuts Custard Powder).

“Together we have created a high-quality bespoke mix that is soft with a long-lasting beautiful bite, producing the very best doughnuts time and time again,” said Mr Stoupas.

“Additionally, our customised filling mix produces custard and custard creams that are soft, oozing, and beautifully rich to fill our doughnuts.”

Manildra Group Victorian Sales Manager Leo Mato acknowledged that high-quality ingredients, local production and authenticity is at the heart of Walker’s Doughnuts vision and success, whilst remaining a 100 per cent family-owned Australian business.

“Jim and Rose’s business growth has been exceptional, we’re so proud to work with such passionate partners who bring people together through a common love to share happiness in enjoying irresistibly indulgent doughnuts,” said Mr Mato.

Mr Stoupas said that their product quality and taste reflect their brand, so the consistent quality of these ingredients is instrumental to their heavenly doughnut range.

“Our relationship with Manildra Group is one we highly value and Leo goes over and beyond to provide product, technical and development support,” Mr Stoupas said.