An exciting new shop with must-try doughnuts has landed in Dallas near Preston Center. Called Rings Donuts, it's an independently-owned startup now open at 6053 Sherry Ln., with a noble goal: to make the best doughnuts in Dallas.
Many a shop has tried before, but Rings might actually succeed, thanks to the dedication of founder Bill Hennessey, a New York transplant with a passion for great doughnuts. Not frou-frou doughnuts. Not gourmet with a capital G. Just great old-school classic doughnuts.
"We do classic doughnuts, not gourmet," Hennessey says. "Our doughnuts are not topped with bacon or candy, they're regular doughnuts, but higher-quality than what you generally find."
Rings offers both cake and raised doughnuts, plus fritters, plus a cute little pig-in-a-blanket creation that they call "oinkers."
Their raised selection includes:
- Iced - vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry, with or without sprinkles
- Cinnamon sugar
- Bob's apple fritters
The fritters are named for Hennessey's father-in-law, who passed away. "He really loved fritters and was a lovely soul," Hennessey says.
Their cake selection includes:
- old fashioned
- blueberry with streusel crumbles
They also do doughnut holes in two varieties: glazed and chocolate cake; and a special celebration doughnut called the LuLu, a massive 11 inches across, which they frost and decorate for special occasions.
A graduate of TCU where he also played football, Hennessey is a lawyer and entrepreneur who started a successful title insurance company. He also has two young boys, Pearce and Reid, he wanted to see more often, and loved the whole nostalgic aspect of the quintessential doughnut shop.
"I also wanted to do a business that was creative in nature, and I've always been inspired by food, especially classic American foods," he says. "For me, a doughnut is a nostalgic thing. But my wife Dawn and I would take our kids to doughnut shops, and I felt like it was always the cheapest ingredients, lousy coffee, and a lackluster atmosphere."
"I felt like I could elevate every piece of this," he says.
He's surely elevated every piece. He worked with a consulting company to create their own recipe, so that it wouldn't taste exactly the same as all the other doughnut shops in town, and he's using a higher-grade shortening that costs more than double the price of the oil most other shops use. It has a major impact.
"The oil we're using fries cleaner, and the absorption rate is lower," he says. "You can really see the difference in the texture and the flavor of the doughnut. We also make our own icings and glaze. You'd be surprised at how many places don't do that."
They serve coffee and espresso-based drinks, with coffee beans sourced from Dallas-based Globex, including a custom blend for their house coffee, and Lavazza for their espresso drinks.
"We really are Rings Donuts + Coffee," Hennessey says.
One other big differentiator is on price. While "gourmet" doughnuts can run $3 to $5 a pop, Rings doughnuts are $2 each, and $16 for a dozen.
The shop's atmosphere is clean, modern, and bright, with a cool retro "Rings" logo and staffers who wear cheery pink shirts. It feels almost like an ice cream shop or dessert shop, a place for an indulgence. A neon sign says "Eat More Donuts" (although it really should say "doughnuts", tsk) and there's a tile wall where people already want to take photos with their doughnut purchases.
They're currently open 6 am-2 pm daily, although Hennessey says they plan to stay open later once the school year starts, possibly until 7 or 8 pm.
"We don't need to reinvent the wheel," he says. "We're not doing crazy concoctions. It's just that classic American doughnut, but better quality."