Donut Worry, Be Happy
By Nicole Kato
Happiness abounds at Purvé Donut Stop, and that’s kind of the point to hear co-owner Nick Cornford tell it. From the upbeat, colorful decor that lines the walls to the vibrant (and hilariously named) pastries on display, there’s always something fun going on at Kakaako’s newest donut shop.
“We just started spitting out ideas (for the donut flavors) and came up with some great names that make people smile when they come in,” said Cornford, who heads up the biz with partner Brion Zablan.
One of the brick-and-mortar’s most popular is the Unicorn Butt Sneeze — think a sweet-yet-tart lemon glaze topped with Fruity Pebbles — and the “You’re Killing Me Smalls” concoction made with chocolate glaze, graham and toasted marshmallows.
The Hulk Smash, meanwhile, is an admitted owner favorite.
“But as time has gone on, every flavor has become a favorite at one point,” added Cornford.
And new ones are never in short supply. Aside from its menu staples — curated to reflect Cornford and Zablan’s best-loved flavors — the creative minds behind Purvé exercise their creativity by thinking up new combinations for the shop’s “Weekly D” special that comes out every Monday.
“We have really been able to push the creative flavors,” Cornford said. “At this point there is no bad idea. We look at restaurant menus and grocery store shelves to see what kind of new flavors that we can come up with that have never been seen before.”
The feeling of enjoyment extends even to the Purvé (pronounced like “purvey”) staff, as well.
“We hire our employees 100 percent based on personality,” Cornford explained. “They need to be personable, energetic, and like to smile and have fun. Our main goal is to make sure it is a family with our employees that truly enjoy each other and their job.”
Cornford and Zablan know the importance of making their staff feel like family, which is why patrons will often see employees jamming to music and having fun conversations with customers — all while getting fresh donut orders ready.
That focus on fostering positivity in its employees translates into top-notch customer service that goes above and beyond. It’s par for the course for the two owners, who both come from a service industry background as bartenders.
Purvé, then, offers a new way of enjoying a mainstay treat — and it’s one that the community can really get behind.
“We loved the ideas of taking a product that has been around for a super long time and bringing a new twist to it that has not been done before, as well as taking the culture of Hawaii and making it into a full experience versus your old-school donut shop,” Cornford added.
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LAWRENCE TABUDLO PHOTOS
COMPANY: Purvé Donut Stop
LOCATION: 1234 Kona St.
BENEFITS: Purvé offers medical coverage and is currently in the works of adding vacation and other bene˛ ts as the shop grows.