New Pastry on the Block: The Salty Donut Opens New Austin Location

Ella Lilly, Staff Writer

Donuts ranging from Horchata to Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake are featured at a new donut shop in Austin, along with a mix of drinks that include signature coffees like the Cinnamon Cereal Latte and Maple Brown Sugar Coldbrew.

The Salty, an artesian donut shop, has recently opened in South Congress. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. According to The Salty marketing director Kae Roffman, the difference between their donuts and others’ starts at the base.

“Our dough base is very different from a lot of donut shops,” Roffman said. “When you go into a traditional donut shop, you’re probably going to get cake or yeast bases. Our brioche base is light and fluffy, but it’s almost like biting into a cake more than anything.”

The Salty also works with local businesses to collaborate and introduce new specials to the menu. Collaborations include those with a brewery, a barbecue restaurant, and Topo Chico, along with donut specials inspired by Austin and Texas.

 “You know you’re going in more for an experience, especially if you’re a foodie,” Roffman said. “We’ve got a ton of different offerings specific to the areas that we’re in, as well. So for example, in our Austin shop, we have the Prickly Pear Margarita donut, which is inspired by being in Austin. And then in both of our Texas shops, we have an alternate base, which is just your traditional cake donut but Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake donut. We also love to partner with local businesses as much as we can to support our communities and give back to them. So with our Maple Bacon, we partnered up with a local meat vendor, [Terry Blacks], in the area.”

Over 4,000 donuts were sold in just a couple hours during their grand opening in August 2021. Walking into the store reveals a display of donuts in a coffee shop-like space. Customer Lauren from Miami loved the spacious, thought-out interior and patio decor.

“The vibes are amazing, it’s very up and coming,” Lauren said. “I’m here just for the weekend, but my friend lives here and comes here all the time. I like the fact that it’s open air, and I love being on the green.”

According to Roffman, careful consideration was put into the interior. It is also different from The Salty’s other locations.

“Our co-founder, Amanda Pizarro, puts in a lot of time and attention into reflecting the environment of the shop to the surroundings in the community,” Roffman said. “So the idea behind the Austin shop was actually more of a living room. When you walk in, it feels very open, it’s natural, it’s bright, it’s cozy. There’s a nice lounge area to lay in and do your work. There’s murals done by local artists around the shop…you could hang out with your friends, or it’s a nice place to work and listen to a playlist at the same time get your coffee, get your donuts, and just have a nice environment that’s open and inclusive.”

Cristian, an Austinite visitor, went to The Salty with his partner Cass. They enjoyed their experience along with the offered treats.

“The flavor is different than you typically see with donuts, and same thing with the coffee,” Cristian said. “It’s got a unique flavor that you don’t see in other places.”

Looking forward, The Salty has just announced a partnership with Terry Black’s Barbecue to serve a barbecue brisket kolache. As The Salty expands and reaches a greater audience, customers continue to have access to their signature donut treats.