Local business: Sydney restaurateurs expand into donuts | Business news

Tina and Michael Gavin bring Sydney something sweet.

The couple opened Tina’s Old Fashioned Donuts at 12 Division St., Sydney in late October.

Tina Gavin, 50, credits her husband, who owns and operates Gavin’s Pizza and Macho’s Tacos in Sydney, with inspiring the business.

“I swear, he thinks of ideas in his sleep,” she said. “He had this vision and saw a need, with the long lines at Dunkin’, and we just thought it would be fun to open a store and something we would be good at.” It really is his imagination. I love sweets, though, so I was totally up for it.

Gavin said she quit a full-time job to devote herself to the donuts, though she brings years of experience in the food service industry to the venture.

“Our first 15 years in the (pizza) business … I was bartending, waitressing, cooking, doing books, catering, our sales — I did it all,” she said. “But I’ve spent the last five years finishing my master’s degree and working as a leader when we took this on. It turned out to be bigger than we thought, and I thought, “I can’t let Michael hold the bag here, and I’m definitely qualified to do this,” so I quit my full-time job and I I just focus on it and make it work.”

Tina’s, Gavin said, will offer treats at different levels.

“We’ll always have 99-cent donuts, and they’ll be classic, plain, sugared, powdered, cinnamon and glazed,” she said. “And they’ll be a little cheaper if you buy by the dozen. Then we’ll have specialty donuts and those are all of our iced or sprinkled donuts … and then we’ll have extravagant donuts and those are the ones that have more cake-like toppings. And of course we’ll have coffee, espresso, Clark’s Milk and juice.

The extravagant donuts, she said, include combinations such as “maple bacon gluttony,” “Oreo cookie madness,” “pebble blast” and others.

Despite a series of opening delays, Gavin said, Tina’s staff is eager and the community’s response has been “absurdly amazing.”

“We have a staff and … they’ve been so patient and willing and they’ve practiced many batches of doughnuts,” she said. “It’s been four or five months (of planning) … and people are ready. Every time we’ve practiced here, people have stopped by to see if we’re open and we’ve already given out a lot of donuts; we’ve given some to the varsity field hockey and football teams and our local police, our rural workers and some teachers, so we’ve had really positive feedback.’

Gavin, a Sydney resident, said he hopes to build on that support by creating a collaboration.

“I was born and raised here, so this is my community,” she said. “It saddens me to see restaurants and small businesses close; after the pandemic, it’s a struggle for all of us, so why not help each other and we all win? We need to raise all of us and that brings more business here for all of us.

“We use Wakeman Coffeehouse (coffee) and they roast it specifically for us,” Gavin continued. “They call it ‘Tina’s Blend,’ and it’s a Brazilian medium blend. If you like breakfast mix, you’ll really like it. They also package individual bags to sell here eventually. and I know Michael would love to transition to breakfast sandwiches with our friends at Everything Bagelry.”

Gavin said she has received reciprocal support from Sydney businesses, promising a diverse customer demographic.

“We’ve already had some interest from some local stores to carry our donuts,” she said. “And we’re hoping to be able to expand into Oneonta and Delhi and maybe Mount Upton, so we expect to have a pretty big reach.” We definitely have plans to franchise and expand our offerings for sure.”

Tina’s, she said, has limited dining seating, but most mornings it will offer seating at the pizzeria next door. In addition, she said, there will be online ordering and “a pick-up stand where you can come in and pick up your order.”

For more information and to access online ordering, find Tina’s Old Fashioned Donuts on Facebook.

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