Sweet Spot

River Oaks Donuts Dazzles

"We saw a need, and we filled it," says owner Mindy Hildebrand.

By Annabel Massey July 9, 2013

Never before have I walked in to a donut shop to find beautiful countertops made of marble, artwork by Lorri Honeycutt, or a display of delicious taste-testers in the form of donut holes for me to pop into my mouth as I wait in line. That's the new River Oaks Donut Shop, opened by a local husband-and-wife team and ready to box up a dozen glazed for you this morning.

Going inside and waiting in line is too much of a hassle for you? Well, there’s a drive-thru just for that reason. River Oaks Donut Shop is open for walk-ins or drive-thru from 6:00 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week.

River Oaks Donut Shop
3601 Westheimer

Owners Jeff and Mindy Hildebrand worked for months with store director Scott Niemeyer on perfecting a recipe to ensure that there was a special something for every donut lover out there.

“We took a little bit from everything we knew we liked, and then we created our own recipe from that,” says Mindy. Every afternoon, nine boxes of donuts would be delivered to the Hildebrand house. Mindy distributed them to family and friends, looking to get feedback on their work-in-progress. After three months of taste-testing, they finally landed on a delicious one-of-a-kind recipe.

All the donuts are hand-cut; they have a “prettier shape and prettier color,” and River Oaks Donut Shop doesn’t stop at donuts. Kolaches, fritters, cinnamon rolls, and locally roasted coffee are all available as options as well. The shop's current number one item is the plain and simple glazed donut. The glazed donut with chocolate icing is the second most popular, while the chocolate donut with chocolate filling is third. Mindy’s personal favorite is the blueberry cake donut.

Before Mary Lee’s Donuts closed, Mindy would spend most mornings there, picking up breakfast for the kids. It was convenient and easy. And after Mary Lee’s shut its doors, something was missing. The Hildebrands had always thought about opening a donut shop of their own, but this seemed like the perfect reason to start making moves. “We saw a need, and we filled it. It was very simple,” says Mindy. They wanted to find the perfect location, with Mindy wanting "to be close to the churches, the schools, the neighborhoods, and the local businesses.”

River Oaks Donut Shop is in the heart of a great community. “We wanted to add a friendly neighborhood feel to the store,” says Mindy. The goal is to maintain a warm and friendly environment for the customers to enjoy. A pleasant experience can be accomplished, “even just by getting to know the customers by name, offering a free sample to strike up a conversation with someone, or asking how their day has been going,” says Mindy. I always leave the shop feeling happy with my satisfied sweet-tooth, and the cheap prices never break my budget. It’s a win-win.

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