Doughnut by the Bay

A small-town sweet treat.

Chesapeake Doughnut Company

NATIVE VIRGINIAN GABRIEL DEL RIO grew up in Irvington but spent the past 20 years in California—where doughnut shops were almost as prevalent as Starbucks, he says. He recently returned to the Northern Neck with partner Jeff Ewing looking for a local business venture. “With the nearest local doughnut shop over 30 miles away, we knew the answer,” says del Rio.

Chesapeake Doughnut Company began as a drive-up and walk-up service in White Stone in June 2020, expanding to a second location in Warsaw in January. The instant hit now offers 15 to 20 flavors of doughnuts in both yeast and cake varieties. Favorites include the classic glazed yeast and powdered cake, as well as filled options like Boston creme and lemon curd. Popular among children is the Homer, with strawberry glaze and rainbow sprinkles.

More unique creations include the Honey River Pistachio, topped with pistachio butter cream frosting, chopped pistachio nuts, and local Honey River Farm honey. Doughnuts are available individually or by the dozen.

The shop offers savory items as well. “Our bismarck breakfast sandwiches get rave reviews and have a loyal following,” says del Rio. “They are made-to-order breakfast sandwiches on toasted plain bismarck yeast doughnuts.” The sandwiches come with egg, cheese, and either ham, bacon, or sausage. To wash down all the sweetness, Chesapeake Doughnut Company serves both hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks made with beans from Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Company out of Richmond.

This summer, del Rio says to look out for ice cream, lunch items, outdoor seating at both locations, and events with specialty treats, and eventually, more locations. “We are a locally owned, community-focused enterprise,” he says. “We source locally wherever possible and promote and partner with other local businesses. We plan on continuing to expand throughout the region over the coming years.” CDoughnut.com


This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue.

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