Donut Bar x Revenge Bakery – Interview With the World’s Best Donut Shop

When I first moved to San Diego, it became my mission to find the best food and coolest restaurants. I started following food blogs, Instagram accounts, Yelp & would keep an eye out for new restaurants popping up around our neighborhood. One of the first spots that hit my radar was Donut Bar. Everywhere I looked and everyone I talked to knew about Donut Bar & their infamous concoctions. The first 4 times I tried to visit their store, they were closed because they had sold out. Seriously! 4 times in a row! I started getting a little discouraged. But knew that if a donut shop was selling out of treats every day, it was worth the trek.

Finally… after failed attempts at satisfying my sugar craving, I waited in like for about 10 minutes at 9 AM and had my first Donut Bar experience. i remember it like it was yesterday… I was kind of nervous. What would I order, how would I make a decision? I didn’t want it to seem like it was my first donut rodeo, I wanted to seem like a regular and blend in. In typical Erin fashion, I basically blacked out and put an order in. I don’t even remember it – I just started spitting donut names out. I ordered the Nutella Overload and Cake Batter. One for me and one for Tony. Aka I “buy him one” so that I can try both. From that point on, Donut Bar and I became best friends. One day I realized I could order them via Postmates & Uber Eats and my life literally changed. Instead of driving downtown… I could have someone pick up donuts for me!? CHA-CHING!

Side Note: Whether you live in SD or somewhere else, if you don’t have either Postmates or Uber Eats you can get discounts using my codes… aka FREE FOOD!!!

Uber Eats = $10 off using eats-erina320

Postmates = $100 off using SXMU

Ok, back to my story… so after eating countless donuts, I decided to reach out to Donut Bar to do a feature on them. I know what you’re thinking, what’s so special about a donut shop? This isn’t just a donut shop, it’s THE DONUT SHOP. Donut Bar serves fresh, innovative, gourmet donuts that not only look totally Instagram worthy, but taste like someone cooked it with love, especially for you. Did I mention they also serve beer!? Literally, a Donut Bar! I love that they’re doing something innovative & fun, always creating different over the top flavor combinations & have basically gone viral. I thought it would be really cool to talk to Chef Santiago, the owner of Donut Bar to learn more about their business and more of the backstory. I think it’s really cool seeing other business owners who are passionate about what they do and kind of “march to the beat of their own drum” to start something authentic.

When I met Chef Santiago for a tour of Donut Bar, he served us up a few Mimosas. Note: any time you give me dessert and a mimosa – I instantly feel super fancy and am a lifer. He showed us around the shop (which is actually pretty massive) and sat down with me to answer a few questions!

Alright, so give me a little introduction for any of my followers who haven’t been to Donut Bar.

I’m Chef Santiago!  Here are a couple of things about how I see things:

I had one goal when I started Donut Bar – to make the very best donuts that I personally could.

I work an honest 7 day a week work schedule. To put that into perspective when day 8 rolls around that doesn’t mean it’s a day off! That means that I’ve worked about 1400 days straight, aside from the 4 days I took off this spring to chill in the Bahamas with my 16 year old son! All work and no play can and will lead most people to a quick burn out, so I recharge primarily feeding off of my customer’s energy and excitement when they visit Donut Bar. My guilty pleasure is exotic cars though, I like to buy and drive Porsche’s, Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s and share my hobby with my two sons.  So instead of vacations and days off, I treat each drive into work as a mini vacation!

How did you get your start?

I perfected my craft working at 5 Star Hotels like the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Grand Hyatt.

What inspired you to open Donut Bar?

I always knew that I wanted to open my very own bakery and I always had an unusual fascination with the simplicity of the donut. When the time came to seriously consider the type of bakery I was going to open all things led me to creating Donut Bar. DONUTS ARE MY LIFE (literally)!

What has been your biggest hurdle in being a business owner?

The biggest struggle has been making enough donuts every day! It doesn’t matter whether we make 3000 or even 7000 donuts, they always sell out!
As I type this our line is to the end of the block (about 100 people in line) and a staff member just told me that we only have about 144 donuts left.  Time to print out FREE DONUT CARDS!  
As a business owner and Chef the challenge is keeping the right people working with you. I understand that without my staffs dedication my business would not thrive.

What’s your favorite thing on the menu?

The number one question I get is, “What’s your favorite donut?”.
I have to admit that I love all of my creations in their own right – just the same way that I love my two sons!
My Maple Bourbon Donut and my French Toast Donut really stand out.  My favorite part about the Maple Bourbon Donut is that when you bite into it you taste the sweet, yummy maple flavor and feel the texture of both the glaze and dough when you bite into it, but it doesn’t stop there! The real magic is when you exhale through your nose (keeping in mind that Mom said you SHOULD chew with your mouth closed 🙂 ), you get real, amazing bourbon flavors. The Maple Bourbon Donut reminds me that there are levels to the fun we can have with food and just how enjoyable eating really is.

What makes Donut Bar different from your average donut shop?

I believe that there are many levels to why Donut Bar IS Donut Bar and at the highest point of the “donut echelon”.

First and foremost, it’s about the quality of our dough. I have personally poured every ounce of my culinary craft, knowledge, and wisdom into making a really incredible dough.

The dough was just the foundation, I was then able to develop creative flavor profiles for our glazes, fillings, and garnishes. 

Donut Bar goes beyond creating the most award winning donuts in world, Donut Bar delivers energy and excitement by way of a true passion for donuts!

What advice would you give to my followers who want to follow their dreams and pursue a unique career path?

The most important thing is to know what you want… what you REALLY want and what is really important to you. It should take a considerable amount of deep thought, emotion, and include self compromise to understand this part, but it’s the most critical. Once you have been honest with yourself & have the determination, you can set your mind to it.

The number one piece of advice I can give is to stay consistent! There are a million and one “convenient distractions” as I refer to them, or “CD’s”, don’t let them get the best of you!

For me all things pointed to creating Donut Bar.  I’m really looking forward to sharing Donut Bar with even more people. I’m excited to expand and ready for the brand to franchise in the next few weeks!

A BIG thank you to Chef Santiago & the Donut Bar crew for taking the time to meet and chat with me, AND let me try all of their donuts! It’s so exciting and motivating meeting people who are living their passions and making their dreams a reality. I hope you guys enjoyed learning more about Donut Bar and can find some motivation and inspiration from Chef Santiago’s story!

If you’re ever in San Diego, be sure to visit Donut Bar and tell them I sent you! They also have a location in Las Vegas & will be expanding soon, so keep an eye out! Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram!

Photos: Arielle Levy 

Shirt: Missguided Leather Leggings: DSTLD (get 20% off using REVENGEBAKERY) Shoes: Converse Ring: Miranda Frye

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  • Reply
    Ava Hughes
    July 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    omg. if I ever go to San Diego this place is a MUST!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Ahh when I go to San Diego I have to go check donut bar out!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I don’t know which is prettier- you or those donuts!

  • Reply
    Martha Zarate
    July 11, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    This was very interesting.

  • Reply
    Monique Maldonado
    July 11, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Oh my gosh I’m totally speechless! This donut bar looks super cute! And those donuts look AMAZING definitely making a little stop there soon

  • Reply
    July 11, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Love your blog!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Next time I come down to San Diego, I so have to try this place. Looks too good not to try <3

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I don’t think I read it, (I possibly did but now can’t remember haha) what was your favorite donut at the donut bar?

  • Reply
    Kaylah Selby
    July 12, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Ahhhh, those donuts looks sooo good! I live in Pennsylvania, my first trip to San Diego, I’ll be sure to stop by the Donut Bar!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Next time I’m in San Diego (which is conveniently next month) I’ll try to make a visit to this place it seems hella worth it!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

    I love your blog so much !! ohmy these donuts seem amazing 🙂

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 8:34 am

    I need to go there immediately!!

  • Reply
    Anusha Batool
    July 12, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Those donuts look so good

  • Reply
    Jessica Davis
    July 12, 2017 at 10:24 am


  • Reply
    maria rivera
    July 12, 2017 at 11:11 am


  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 11:42 am

    This was so interesting and fun to read! Love it ! ❤️

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Haha looks great!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Would it be weird to go to San Diego just for donuts?

    • Reply
      Sam E
      July 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

      HELL NO.
      I live 91 miles away and make the trip at least every other month! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    They look amazing!!

  • Reply
    Lerden garcia
    July 12, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    This is awesome

  • Reply
    July 12, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    My favorite donuts ever! Lovvveee Donut Bar!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Omg I HAVE to go here if I go to San Diego!! It looks soooooooo good!!!

  • Reply
    Cheyenne Simmons
    July 13, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I want to move out to San Diego in a few years, I’m definitely going to have to check this out!!

  • Reply
    Ashley Gummerson
    July 13, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Donut Bar is one of the places I miss the most now that I’m not living in San Diego!! These photos literally made my mouth water! It’s so nice finally hearing the story about the shop! Great interview!


  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Those donuts looks so good!!

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