The couple behind Sir Benji’s Donuts now is selling its artisanal mini doughnuts in a permanent location at the Plant St. Market.
WINTER GARDEN – Although wedding shopping may not be a usual source of entrepreneurial inspiration, it worked for Jenny and Ben Falcone — the duo behind Sir Benji’s Donuts.
While out shopping, the newlyweds, who profess a love for food and cooking, spotted someone with a nifty doughnut machine and eventually purchased one for their personal use.
Although the Falcones already had their own start-up called La Petite Pie, known for its palm-sized artisanal pies, they eventually switched to doughnuts.
“We had always dreamed of owning our own business and this seemed like a good fit,” Jenny Falcone said. “We were doing mini pies out of the Winter Garden Farmers Market before we switched over to donuts, and kind of took the inspiration from the pie fillings and translated that into donuts.”
But the flavor possibilities, they realized, were endless. Now, they often find themselves enjoying a drink or dessert and wondering how it would taste in doughnut form.
“We’re basically obsessed, and every time we eat something we think how would this be in doughnut form,” Jenny Falcone said.
Their curiosity has resulted in some crazy food experiments, particularly during their monthly “doughnut lab sessions,” where they compete against each other to see who can create the best doughnut flavor, she said.
The doughnut lab has produced several creations. Among the many flavors are Pumpkin Ale Brulee, Toasted Coconut Rum, Maple Pecan, and Ben Falcone’s personal favorite: the Bourbon Bacon Sea Salt, a doughnut loaded with bacon, fried in whiskey and topped with sea salt.
One of the upcoming flavors they plan to debut soon is termed Churro En Fuego, which is essentially a cinnamon sugar donut with lime and cayenne pepper.
“We’re going to be rotating the flavors on a seasonal basis, but there’s so much more to come,” she said. “And we might work with the (Crooked Can) Brewery in the future to make some doughnut and beer pairings, and we’re going to have some other awesome creations coming, like our Doughnut Sundaes and our Honey Lavender Lemon, Pink Fluffy Unicorn, and Churro en Fuego — another fun flavor that we’re going to have coming out. But of course, the Major Glazer and the Churro Doughnut will always be there.”
The entrepreneurial couple, who live in Lake Mary and commute to Winter Garden, is more than happy to put its creations to the test at the Winter Garden Farmers Market to receive public feedback, which the two credit with their success, along with hospitality degrees from the University of Central Florida.
“We’re definitely enjoying the process of settling into Winter Garden,” Jenny Falcone said. “Winter Garden is such an amazing community, and the Winter Garden Farmers Market is basically what made everything possible for us — that market is like an incubator for small businesses.”
The shop opened at the market a little more than a week ago and will be open Thursdays through Sundays.
“We were like drooling over Plant Street — for an opportunity to get in,” Ben Falcone said. “It’s such an incredible location and concept. And we thought, ‘We want to be a part of this.’”