Story & images by Julie Ray
As I walk through the doors of Naomi Paled’s Golden Doughnut shop in Byron Bay the waft of cinnamon jolts a fond childhood memory of shopping with my mum. After being dragged through the local shopping centre mum would treat me to a warm sugary cinnamon doughnut. I was mesmerised by the automated doughnut-making gizmo that plopped out perfectly shaped round-holey doughnuts. I fell in love with the smell of cinnamon sugar and fresh-fried dough.
There is no gizmo doughnut machine at Naomi’s shop because her doughnuts are made by hand, inspired by her Israeli grandmother.
‘In Israel doughnuts are very popular. Every grandmother would make them with cinnamon and jam in the middle; there was never any icing on top, the flavour was always on the inside,’ explained Naomi.
Naomi’s doughnuts are rounded (no holes) puffed, golden, light and fluffy just as she remembers. They are made with organic flour and as much local produce as she can obtain. Be prepared to have difficulty deciding which one to eat, if you can stop at one.
There are so many flavours to choose from like cinnamon, Ferrero Rocher, salted caramel, dark chocolate, berry jam and the mouth-watering hot-chocolate-filled doughnut topped with vanilla ice-cream, as well as a vegan doughnut. If you have trouble choosing, like this Libran, grab the mini Oompa Loompa; it’s four different fillings pumped into mini doughnuts. If you manage to get through all the flavours and still want more, there are specials each week like the cappuccino or mango vanilla cream.
Golden Doughnut is situated nextdoor to The Nail Bar that Naomi also runs. So what do pedicures or manicures and doughnuts have in common?
‘When the shop became vacant nextdoor I thought doughnuts would be something different to serve up in Byron,’ Naomi said. ‘We must be the only Nail Bar in the world where you can order a doughnut and a chai latte and enjoy it while being pampered. Customers love it; it adds to the luxury.’
This is not Naomi’s first dabble with tantalizing sweets; she has been serving up pastries at festivals for the past 12 years with Uprising Bakery.
‘I love doughnuts and they have become so popular recently, and it’s great to see people’s faces light up when they walk through the door,’ said Naomi.
The Golden Doughnut Shop:
3a/1 Byron St, Byron Bay