Welcome to By the Numbers, a series that looks at the quantitative operations of restaurants.
While the city of Hamtramck is considered the epicenter of metro Detroit’s paczki mania, a few miles away in southwest customers can still score a dozen of the Polish donuts on Fat Tuesday. The staff at family-owned fried dough shop Donut Villa stack boxes like champs on Paczki Day, churning out hundreds of its signature “poonchkis” to feed the masses.
In the lead up to February 28, Eater asked owner Tom Srbinovski to share a few facts about his shop. Here’s what it takes to run a Detroit bakery on Paczki Day:
Time When the Shop Begins Baking Paczki: 2 p.m. the Sunday before Fat Tuesday
Hours Spent at the Bakery: 48 hours (2 p.m. on Sunday to 2 p.m. on Tuesday) “We could do more but we force ourselves to stop.”
Number of Pre-Orders the Shop Receives: 100 dozen
Number of Paczki Donut Villa Will Make This Year: Roughly 900 dozen or 10,800 paczki
Most Popular Flavor: Custard. Approximately 25 percent of sales.
Time Required to Make One Batch: 3 hours
Weight of a Single Paczki at Donut Villa: 5 ounces
Pounds of Each Ingredient (flour, sugar, lard, etc.) Used for Paczki This Year: “We don't even try to keep track. We always order about three times the typical amount of raw material, and whatever is left over we use for regular donut production.”
Number of Staff in the Shop During the Paczki Rush: “We have six people at the shop at all times. Normal is two to three people.”
Donut Villa is located at 5875 Vernor Hwy in Detroit.
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• All Paczki Mania Coverage [ED]