When Christine Nordstrom set out to name her new Ringling Bouelevard doughnut shop, located right down the road from the headquarters of the Sarasota Police Department and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, she couldn't resist playing with the cops-love-doughnuts stereotype. She christened the shop, which opens next month, Five-O Donut Co, and she decorated the space with a throwback logo of a police officer with a nightstick and a car door painted to resemble a squad car's. She's even toying with installing a height strip and mugshot placard with which customers can snap pics. Nordstrom knows the cops-and-doughnuts stereotype is out of date (police officers are just as likely to go gluten-free and toil on the treadmill as any other American). She's just having fun. "It's tongue-in-cheek," she says. "We just want to make it something people can enjoy."
Given Nordstrom's track records, odds are people will enjoy it very much. Nordstrom operates several baked-goods stands at farmers' markets up and down the west coast and sells excellent scones, cookies and more out of her downtown shop Sift. Doughnuts, though, are new for her, and so she's bringing in help. She's hired a doughnut maker who's relocating from Ohio and she's been busy coming up with ideas to get ready for what she hopes is an early May launch.
Nordstrom is concentrating on yeast doughnuts and filled varieties, working on recipes that are creative but will still satisfy old-time doughnut heads. She's working on gluten-free and vegan options, too, but she still wants to maintain a "trashier" vibe than at her other properties.
Some of her equipment still hasn't come, though, and the Five-O space, which was previously Lovin' Spoon Full and, for three-plus decades, Levoie's, still needs some work. But it's looking good. Nordstrom installed mock-brick paneling and has given the space a uniform-reminiscent navy-gray color scheme. Exposed wood, farmhouse lights and corrugated metal details harken back to the design at Sift.
The shop is situated in the strip that houses the Shamrock, a barbershop, a bail bondsman and a cobbler. It's in a spot that's quiet for now but will see lots of growth in the coming years. A 222-unit apartment property is slated for the shopping plaza across the street and new developments are popping up on east Main Street just to the north. The extension of the Legacy Trail into downtown Sarasota also seems to be moving forward; the plan would transform the old railroad track that runs right next to Five-O into a paved pathway. "It's really exploding," Nordstrom says.
All those new residents and commuters will need a wakeup, and Nordstrom is planning to offer brewed coffee and perhaps espresso drinks, in addition to her doughnuts. She'd like to begin offering lunch after the shop is open for a bit, too, and maybe even ice cream farther down the line. Late night delivery, too. But that's in the future. For now, it's doughnuts, doughnuts, doughnuts. I'm losing sleep just thinking about them.
Five-O Donut Co will be located at 2241 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. To keep up with the shop's progress and to be invited to special "sting" tasting preview events, follow the shop on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.