Heather Morris has launched Destination Donuts, an artisan shop flaunting exotic flavor combinations.
Heather Morris is taking a fresh approach with an old favorite.
Like the cupcake transformers of the present and not too distant past, Morris has an equal amount of enthusiasm for the doughnut.
The circular, glazed treat has amazing potential, she said.
"I just love doughnuts," she said. "I don't know what's wrong with me. I think they're magical dough balls."
Morris recently started Destination Donuts, an artisan operation that, at least for the time being, has limited exposure.
Morris usually sets up Saturday and Sunday twice a month at the North Market, taking advantage of "daystall" vendor spaces, a short-term rental opportunity for those with specialty food products. (She said she's now on the waiting list to get a spot at the market.) She will next visit the market from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 26.
Morris offers five to six flavors from a repertoire of about 40, including grapefruit mint and rosemary creamed corn.
She has even gone the pork route, eschewing bacon and favoring sausage, and pairing it with maple and sage.
Of course, Morris has a few standard choices with her signature touch, such as the dueling vanilla and chocolate "insanity" rolled in chocolate ganache and crumbled Oreos.
"I feel like people are really embracing what I'm doing," she said.
Doughnut holes are $2 each and standard doughnuts are $3.
"You're paying for something you can't get anywhere else," she said. "I'm using premium ingredients and buying locally when I can. You're paying more than you would at a grocery store but you're getting a premium doughnut."
Morris, who lives on the Northwest Side, makes her doughnuts fresh from scratch before each day's sales.
However, because her schedule is so erratic, she posts her hours on Facebook and also gets the word out via Twitter (follow her @heatherdonuts). Her website -- destinationdonuts. com -- should be functional by Feb. 1.
She makes the sweets at the Food Fort at the Economic and Community Development Institute on the East Side, which rents kitchen space to mobile vendors, caterers and other professionals.
Her fashionable take on doughnuts might be new, but Morris has an extensive restaurant background, getting her chef training at Columbus State Community College and going on to work for Alana's Food and Wine, the defunct Bexley's Monk and Limited Brands corporate kitchen.
But after starting a family, she moved into a job as a project manager for a facilities maintenance company.
She said she hopes to get her doughnuts into local specialty markets and coffee shops, and would consider a brick-and-mortar storefront if she can't get into the North Market.
"I'm just focused on continuing to grow the product line and get the word out," she said.
Natalie's in downtown Columbus has undergone a name change.
The Korean-meets-American spot, which recently opened at 79 S. Fourth St., had an apparent conflict with Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza in Worthington.
"What we're telling our guests is we wish to avoid confusion with the other Natalie's restaurant," said Paul Yow, who owns the restaurant with his wife Hae Ran.
The new name: Hae-Paul.
The change in name coincides with some updates at the restaurant. For example, starting Jan. 17, there will be dinner service Thursday through Saturday.
"We're going to run the same menu all day, but we'll run some specials at night that are more dinner-oriented," Yow said. "I want to see what works."
The restaurant, which just got a beer and wine license, will add some craft beer and mainstream domestic options, plus a few food-friendly whites and reds.