The husband and wife team who set up a thriving doughnut company in lockdown

One of Cardiff’s most popular sweet treat bakers are expanding again, this time with a doughnut truck. Doughnut company Dough and Co are launching their brand new venture which will be stationed on the Hayes in Cardiff starting next weekend, Friday, July 15. Owned by Ash and Rachael Parfitt, Cardiff Dough and Co makes handcrafted two-day proved doughnuts in a creative range of ever-changing flavours.

They launched during lockdown in 2020 and since starting their delicious business, have secured a unit in Rumney to make their doughnuts. From here they sell their doughnuts to go and regularly feature at local farmers markets across the city. And now customers have even more options to get their fix with the van – nicknamed The Yeast Beast – added into the mix.

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Ash Parfitt of Cardiff Dough & CoAsh Parfitt of Cardiff Dough & Co Ash Parfitt of Cardiff Dough & CoAsh Parfitt of Cardiff Dough & Co

This brand new venture for the doughnut duo will run on weekends, serving doughnuts out of the van from Friday to Sunday. The idea for this new avenue, however, isn’t as new as its launch date and even predates Cardiff Dough and Co’s founding. The inspiration to run a doughnut van, as opposed to another doughnut shop, came from a place of love when the pair were on their honeymoon in Australia in 2018.

Ash, who before launching into the doughnut world was a welder, reflects: “We were on our honeymoon in Australia and we came across this doughnut truck that this family was running. And it was incredible. They moved around Australia, selling doughnuts, parked up in an RV.

And it was just awesome. So that’s where the idea came from. “Our initial idea with the doughnut company was to move out of our house, get a doughnut truck, create a doughnut truck that we could live in as well as sell doughnuts [out of] the back.”

He adds: “With everything going on with COVID and the prices of units and business rates [increasing]I just thought: ‘Without that commitment and with such an unsecure future, how can we still trade for ourselves?’ So that’s where the van idea came from, so we can trade without being stuck in one location.” And while the doughnut company in Australia, Doughnut Kitchen, inspired them in their business, they’re not quite following in their footsteps when it comes to uprooting their living space. “We’re not actually going to live in this one,” Ash laughs, adding how they’re keeping the house. Although, now an established doughnut company, Ash tells us they take inspiration in flavour from each other. “We told them that, because of them, we set to set up our business.

And they’ve taken our doughnuts as inspiration as well. So they’ve done doughnut flavours we’ve done and thanked us for it. It’s crazy!”

And now, four years after first imagining the van business, it’s finally here. “I’m a little nervous,” Ash says, but “super excited”. Despite its incredible popularity – the company has over 17,000 followers on Instagram – Ash tells us that it wasn’t until 2020, two years after their inspiration struck that Cardiff Dough and Co came to fruition. “I bought all the equipment that I thought I needed to make donuts.

I tried it the first time and it was a disaster. So all the equipment went straight into the cupboard and I never touched it again until lockdown. It was that much of a disaster – they came out basically like biscuits,” Ash laughs reminiscing.

“With a full-time job as a welder, I was working 12 hours most days a week, so I just wouldn’t have the time. Obviously when lockdown came along, maybe two years afterward, I just had all the time I needed. I brought all the equipment back out and I made it my goal to get a good doughnut.”

They serve delicious brioche doughnuts in a variety of delightful flavoursThey serve delicious brioche doughnuts in a variety of delightful flavours They serve delicious brioche doughnuts in a variety of delightful flavoursThey serve delicious brioche doughnuts in a variety of delightful flavours

Following a recipe found on YouTube firstly, Ash and Rachael’s creativity flourished from that and soon they had their own special dough.

Starting off initially just sharing pictures on their Instagram, the company grew organically through family and friends asking for some of their new – and much improved – doughy treats that are uniquely handmade from scratch by Ash and his team (which he’s hoping to expand in the near future). Next thing the couple knew, they were trading from their home. “We were doing hundreds a day from the house, which was crazy. It was awesome.”

Now, after two years of their thriving business – made up of a factory unit, retail counter, market stalls and now a brand new doughnut van – the 32-year-old from Cardiff still loves to find inspiration for new and exciting flavours, shapes and sizes. Although despite the delicious array of flavours on offer week in week out – some of which have included in the past gold bar, jammie dodger, Homer, custard slice, white chocolate snickers and Nutella, to name a few – Ash’s favourite flavour is a classic that remains unbeaten for him: plain sugar. “I handle so much sugar all the time.

My dough is my pride. It’s my prized possession. Yeah, easily a plain sugared doughnut.”

With the new doughnut truck testing out the waters at this weekend’s Depot in the Castle, Ash is getting ready to launch some new products as well as their renowned doughnuts next Friday, July 15, and we cannot wait to see what’s in store. Cardiff Dough and Co’s new truck will launch on The Hayes this Friday, July 15. Read next:

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