A new store is filling Great Neck’s hunger for an alternative sweet treat.
Foughnuts, a baked doughnut shop that opened on Monday at 8 Bond St. in Great Neck Plaza, is part café and part doughnut shop. A store like this would usually be found in places like Brooklyn or California, the store’s owner said, but there were none in town.
“We have this concept of doing baked doughnuts because traditionally they are fried,” said store owner Rebecca Romero, a former banker and Realtor. “We wanted to be a little bit different, and you get a healthier result. It’s a healthier alternative sort of sweet treat.”
“Having one here on Long Island is such a good opportunity, especially in Great Neck,” Romero added.
Consumers have a variety of choices like cinnamon sugar, strawberry basil, apple caramel, and red velvet, to name a few. And unlike many doughnut shops, Foughnuts is kosher certified, bakes its product on the premises and avoids trans fats.
“That’s what gets your arteries clogged,” said Lisa Namio, 35, the head chef, who previously worked at Cupcake Corner. “You can burn off a calorie, but there’s something about the way that the oil affects your body that is a little bit harder to get rid of.”
“Although I wouldn’t call them healthy,” Namio said of Foughnuts’ treats, “they’re healthier.”
The shop’s name is related to faux, or false, doughnuts because they are baked, not fried.
Both Namio and Romero said that public feedback has been rather positive. Before the store even opened, people were peeking into the windows and walking in to investigate.
One of those people was Kristina Salerno, 32, a psychotherapist who works in Great Neck. She said she got to try seven pieces of different doughnuts, each of which was unique. “Each doughnut had its own separate flavor,” Salerno said, noting the apple crumb was one of her favorites.
“It didn’t actually taste like it was bad for you,” she added. “It was very fresh.”
David Mallon, 15, a Great Neck resident, had planned to come to Foughnuts with his friend Michelle to see just how good it might be. Mallon said he expected a doughnut shop, but that he was surprised when he saw it featured baked doughnuts.
“It’s not something I would’ve considered,” Mallon said, adding that it was a nice place he would recommend.
Emily Duda, who is Lisa Namio’s cousin, said it was not shocking to find Namio helping start a business like this. She described her cousin as someone with an incredible work ethic that always impressed her.
“She kind of leaves me speechless,” Duda said, looking at the crowd of people lining up to buy a treat. “She has more grit than anybody I know.”
Duda also said that Foughnuts reminds her of what she could find at home, a place she defines as health conscious with unique stores and a “sort of Yuppie feel.”
“This definitely has a Park Slope vibe,” Duda said.
As for the future, Romero said she hopes to expand her business to other locations. But for now, she said, she hopes for its success and says Foughnuts will be ready to serve the community.
“We will be baking fresh here from 3 a.m.,” Romero said.