(This article appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
Nick Cornford & Brion Zablan, Owners
We initially started Purvé as a way to achieve freedom of our time (LOL – little did we know). After a year of us opening our doors and Covid hitting, we realized that our calling was to help the community that supported us through this chaotic time. We now focus on working with a non-profit once a month and sometimes twice a month.
At Purvé we produce fresh, hot made-to-order donuts right in front of your eyes. We pride ourselves on the quality and especially the service that Purvé exemplifies. When you step foot into one of our shops, you are going to get a total experience in and of itself. We had local artist paint murals and street art anywhere that we had room, there is upbeat music playing on the speakers that will make you want to dance, and we also have UNICORNS everywhere. We have 12 signature donuts on our menu, we also have a ‘Weekly D’. This is a special donut that we run from Monday through Sunday of each week. Some of our Weekly D specials have comprised of sweet and savory concoctions such as a Sloppy Joe, Spaghetti and even an Artichoke Jalapeño toasted donut. Our best seller is our Unicorn Buttsneeze, which is a lemon-glazed buttsneeze with Fruity Pebbles, which will make your tastebuds dance.
We both worked in the nightclub scene as bartenders for over 15 years, and we wanted to bring that upbeat work attitude to the shops. All of our Unicorn employees are hired purely on their personality – we feel as a company we are able to teach the effectiveness of speed and accuracy similar to being behind the bar. Since we make everything fresh to order in front of the customer, we try to ingrain it into our Unicorn employees that it is an experience for the customer that begins when they step foot in the door until they get their fresh donuts. We are not just a donut shop!
We currently use a Globe 10-quart mixer for our donuts. It’s a small mixer, but we only make donuts fresh to order, so we don’t need a big mixer like other bakeries. A magical Belshaw fryer is what we use so the customer can see their donuts being made fresh in front of their eyes. Two HUGE (but actually small) pieces of equipment that we need are a calibrated thermometer and scale – we make sure to take the temperature and weight of all of our products so the donut is consistent and yummy.
Secret of Success
When Purvé first started, like everyone else we told our friends and family, then we utilized social media as a key tool to our business. The vision of letting our product market itself was a scary concept, we knew that we had to step it up and make sure all of the donuts and shop were worthy of someone taking their phones out and snapping a pic to post on their social media. Once we were able to be social-media-worthy, we then started to reach out to non-profits to see how we could help the community and establish our name not only as a donut shop, but as an anchor in the community.
When the vision of Purvé first began, we knew that we wanted to hit markets outside of Hawai’I, like the mainland and possibly overseas. We currently have two locations on the Island of Oahu (1234 Kona St. and 4210 Waialae Ave.), and we have begun talks with franchising consulting companies so we can spread our wings and expand. As a company we are hoping to grow within the next year and hopefully be in a town near you!
Visit www.purvehawaii.com/ for more info.