The Revolution Will Be — Doughnuts!

By Brittany Price

Few brave souls attempt the transition from farmers market tent to brick-and-mortar shop. For most folks, it wouldn’t even make sense as a business model.


Not so for  Maria Moore Riggs, who’s been selling pastries at the Decatur Farmers Market as Revolution Doughnuts.


Such significant buzz had built around her organic, locally-sourced doughnut creations, that Riggs was able to fund the startup fees for Revolution Doughnuts with a 30 day, online Kickstarter campaign.


Riggs opened the doors of her fluffy, sugary, brand-new doughnut and coffee shop on the best possible day, June 1, National Doughnut Day.


So far, customers cannot seem to keep their paws off of Riggs’ handcrafted confections.


When she considers the excitement surrounding her endeavor, Riggs draws a simple conclusion, “People get excited about doughnuts.” Her doughnuts are not difficult to be excited about, with diverse flavors like Salted Caramel and Bacon, Blueberry, and Almond.


Riggs emphasizes buying locally whenever possible. “We gravitate towards local growers and farmers’ markets, enjoying the bounty that exists in Georgia. We try to use local producers when we can, so we’re all supporting one another,” she says.


Johnson Family Farms, in Newborn, GA, is family owned and operated, like the bakery. Every day, Riggs uses gallons and gallons of milk from Johnson Family Farms to keep Revolution Doughnuts running. Georgia favorite, Cafe Campesino, is the bakery’s coffee of choice. Cafe Campesino is the only in-state coffee roaster who uses 100% organic and fairly traded coffee beans.


Even the tiniest ingredients at Revolution Doughnuts have been given a great deal of consideration. Atlanta charcuterie, The Spotted Trotter, provides the high-quality bacon Riggs crumbles on top of her hottest-selling item, the Salted Caramel Bacon Doughnut.


Appreciation fills Riggs’ voices as she describes the shop’s first few days. “We had lines out the door and were frantically scrambling for doughnuts. I kept calling for more and more doughnuts, until there were no more. We are supposed to stay open until 4 p.m., but we have yet to make it to 4 without selling out early.”


Thank goodness she still sells them at the Decatur Farmers Market!


The store sits on College Avenue, near downtown Decatur. The only signage at this point is “Revolution Doughnuts,” written in marker on the door. Even at 1 p.m., an a-typical time for doughnut snacking, patrons meander in and out the store.


After serving pastries to Atlantans for a while now, Riggs has developed an understanding of the doughnuts craze. “It’s that nostalgic treat, that comfort food. You don’t really see a lot of mom-’n-pop coffee shops anymore; you don’t see hand-crafted treats. It’s something special that people love.”


Riggs’ childhood was filled with delicious, but always fresh food. Born and raised in California, with a natural foods mindset, “My dad grew up on a dairy farm and my mom came from a 1970’s natural food background. We always made things from scratch. That’s just how I was taught to do things.”


She spent some time in college working at a children’s camp that doubled as a farm. Tasked with harvesting the produce, the staff utilized produce from the camp to feed both themselves and the campers. Riggs was a part of the farm-to-table movement before she even realized its cultural significance. It all just made sense to, “[…]eat what grows around us in abundance. It just tastes better.”


After marrying a Southerner, Riggs and family relocated to Georgia and began searching for a like-minded community that desired to grow and produce good, natural food. The happy family seems to have found this community in Decatur, the new location of Revolution Doughnuts. Maria, her husband and four-year-old son love Decatur and seems to Decatur love them back. A testament to this mutual affection was the line outside of Revolution Doughnuts on opening day.


Busily frying up fresh treats in the kitchen, Riggs grins from ear to ear as she cooks and chats about the doughnut business. Her grin widens even further with the appearance of her husband and four-year-old son. A mess of curls peeks around the corner and Riggs leans down to kiss her son, careful to keep her floury hands in the air. Another reason to cook with real ingredients, her son will grow up in this little shop and he will be eating natural foods made from scratch, just like his mother.


Revolution Doughnuts provides a family-owned alternative to a sea of traditional doughnut shops around Atlanta. Decatur has embraced this newcomer with open arms and a hunger for Riggs’ locally-sourced, organic treats. So, if the sugar bug bites, take some time to head over and grab a cup of coffee and a doughnut. After one bite, you will agree that it is not just a catchy name; these doughnuts truly are something revolutionary.


Revolution Doughnuts, 908 W. College Ave., Decatur, GA; (678) 927-9920.


Open Tuesday through Friday 7-4 and Saturday and Sunday 8-4 (or till they sell out).