Mark Isreal’s grandfather, Herman Isreal (left) at the age of 16 when he started working in a St. Paul, Minnesota, bakery.
During World War 1, Herman was stationed in Paris, France, where he baked bread in the Army’s bakery. Herman (far right) with the U.S. Army Bakery Company.
This photo was taken on Herman’s return to the United States. The writing on the photo says “Remains of Bakery Company 351 After the Battle of Paris, September 26, 1919”
Herman and his wife Lea have a son, Marvin (Mark’s father). Photo of Herman with his son and daughter, Marvin and Illene.
First bakery owned by Herman in Burlington, North Carolina. Herman is third from the left, with his wife Lea (far right). If you look closely, in the middle left of the display case you can see the doughnuts.
Herman moves his family to Greensboro, North Carolina and opens The College Pastry Shop at 330 Tate Street. Herman makes all his cakes, cookies and breads from scratch. He creates his own recipes and has many new ideas, including the first cake mix in the 1930s. Every afternoon he makes doughnuts with his original recipe. Marvin’s job is to glaze the doughnuts after school. The College Pastry Shop remains open until December 1965. Herman passed away in June 1966.
Marvin marries Mary Strickland, who as a child was taken to The College Pastry Shop by her mother.
Mark appears! Mark with his parents and older brother David.
Mark moves to New York City.
Mark starts Doughnut Plant with his grandfather’s doughnut recipe.
The basement of a Lower East Side tenement building is converted into a bakery, and for five years Mark makes doughnuts all night, and delivers them in the morning on his bicycle. Dean & Deluca, Balducci’s and many other coffee shops start to buy Doughnut Plant doughnuts. During this time, Mark develops his own techniques of doughnut making, and his original idea of using fresh seasonal fruit and fresh roasted nuts in glazes. (All black and white photography by Paolo Bevilacqua.)
After a trip to Mexico, Mark starts making traditional Mexican churros at Doughnut Plant.
Doughnut Plant moves out of the basement bakery and with help from his father and his brother, Mark opens a bakery at 379 Grand Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Mark invents the Jelly-Filled Square Doughnut™ and Doughnut Plant opens its first bakery in Tokyo, Japan, with a Japanese partner, Jun Goto. There are now nine locations. doughnutplant.jp
First Doughnut Plant cake doughnuts sold December 7, from a recipe Mark developed over five years. Bagels are introduced at Doughnut Plant in Tokyo, using the recipe of Mark’s grandmother Lea.
May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) was the world premiere of the first-ever Tres Leches™ and Blackout™ filled cake doughnuts, now signature staples at Doughnut Plant.
We now make our own jelly for all of our jelly-filled doughnuts.
World’s first crème brûlée doughnut quickly became a Doughnut Plant signature.
Opening of Chelsea Hotel location.
Doughseeds introduced — filled mini doughnuts, with creative glaze & filling combinations, including ROSE, a rosewater-infused glaze and cream filling, topped with an edible rose petal and MANHATTAN CREAM, (pictured) our take on a Boston Cream, with Valrhona chocolate on the outside and vanilla bean cream on the inside.
Opening of Doughnut Plant Brooklyn.
Pecan Praline Beignet introduced as a Mardi Gras special, soon became a standard menu item. It’s our take on the classic New Orleans treat, with a creamy sugar glaze full of buttery southern pecans.
Opening of Doughnut Plant Queens.
Limited edition CANDY CORN doughnut created! Inspired by the classic candy, our CANDY CORN is all natural. Filled with a house-made corn pudding and covered in the familiar three colors made with a vanilla saffron turmeric glaze.
Limited edition CHRISTMAS TREE DOUGHNUT debuts! Fresh mint glaze on the outside. Chocolate mint pudding on the inside.
Our new Mardi Gras special – KING CAKE doughnut! A yeast doughnut with pecans and cinnamon inside and outside a vanilla cream glaze and naturally-colored sugar.
WHITEOUT, our latest filled cake doughnut! The BLACKOUT, Doughnut Plant’s tribute to Brooklyn’s Ebinger’s Bakery (1898-1972), has long been one of our most popular doughnuts, especially for chocolate lovers. Now we’ve made a version with white chocolate! White chocolate cake doughnut, dipped in Valrhona white chocolate, with a white chocolate pudding filling and then sprinkled with white chocolate cake crumbs.
Savory doughpods introduced. Doughnut Plant’s latest creation: DOUGHPODS. Savory filled yeast doughnuts. First flavors: Avocado Toast and Samosa.
BLACK & WHITE cake doughnut — inspired by the classic NY cookie, it is 1/2 dark chocolate, 1/2 white chocolate.
VEGAN doughnuts introduced. First flavors: CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE and BANANA.
VEGETABLE CREAM CHEESE, our latest savory doughpod. Chock full of carrots, red & green peppers, scallions and cream cheese in a savory dough with poppy seeds.
THE RIPPLE, our latest creation. It’s a doughnut in a doughnut in a doughnut. Three rings of doughnutty goodness.
Message from Mark
Doughnut Plant’s mission and passion is providing our customers with the best doughnuts in the world every day using the finest ingredients available. And that’s not done alone.
• I could not have done anything without the help of my father, who from the beginning (of me! and of Doughnut Plant) has always been there with love to help and support.
• Doughnut Plant is named in the memory of my mother, who gave me everything, and passed away in 1992: Every day when she would see my father off to work, she would say “Have a good day at the Plant.”
• My grandfather died when I was three, but I have made a relationship with him through his doughnut recipe and all that I went through at the bakery, understanding he too went through some of the same experiences.
• New York City — where else could I have experienced so much that made all this happen?
• Thank you to all the devoted Doughnut Plant customers, my friends and to everyone who had any part along the way, and especially our employees who have stayed by me and believed in Doughnut Plant.
I will do my best to make the doughnuts at Doughnut Plant always increasing in their deliciousness.