Happy Vermonters: St. Albans Couple Creates Sweet Side Hustle with Hangry the Donut Bar
March 13, 2021
Erica and Ed McClain are working toward their dreams one doughnut at a time.
The couple runs Hangry The Donut Bar, a drop-off and pop-up doughnut business based in St. Albans that opened last year.
“When I got out of high school, I thought I would go to culinary school. But that didn’t happen,” Erica says. “Honestly, I never thought doughnuts were the thing I would get into.”
Fortunately for us, Erica and Ed are creating some of the best doughnuts around, taking online orders and making deliveries most days of the week. Hangry doughnuts are made with local eggs and Nitty Gritty Flour and come in unusual flavors such as Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie, Passion Fruit, and French Toast Glaze.
Erica and Ed deliver fresh doughnuts to customers at the St. Albans Park and Ride and supply doughnuts to Catalyst Coffee Bar in St. Albans and Nomad Coffee in Chittenden County. In the summer, the couple plans to operate a food truck and expand deliveries to other Park and Rides, including the Richmond location off Interstate 89.
“For the most part, this is my baby, and Ed helps me keep my baby alive. He’s my fry guy, my prep guy, and he actually mixes up a mean batch of dough,” Erica says. “I am the one that kneads it, hand cuts it, comes up with flavors, and I do a lot of the administrative stuff for us. We both are a team, and this business couldn’t run without both parts.”
A Love for Making Doughnuts from Scratch
-Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie, Lemon Poppy, French Toast Glazed, and Passion Fruit doughnuts by Hungry the Donut Bar.
Erica always loved to bake, but doughnuts weren’t on her radar until she was in New York City early last year and visited The Doughnut Project in the West Village.
“They had these amazing doughnuts, and I had never tried anything like it,” she says. “I brought some back on the plane with me, and when I got home, I said to Ed, ‘I feel like I could do this.’”
It took some time for Erica to perfect her doughnut-making skills. She read books and studied the science behind each of the ingredients.
“I honestly prayed and went and bought so many books. I studied the science of my food. I’d make a batch then critique it, dissect it, and researched how to get different results,” she says. “It took a lot of time, but I think it just came down to what I was looking for in a doughnut, and then I kept trying until I finally got it.”
Life in Vermont
Erica works at the public defender’s office in Burlington, and Ed is a welder. The couple met in Florida and moved to Vermont after Ed visited his brother and sister-in-law, who live in Franklin County. They decided they wanted a new start after getting married, so they loaded up their Honda Civic and drove north to the Green Mountains in 2015.
“I had never seen mountains and never experienced snow,” Erica says. “Vermont has been such a welcoming place. I wish there were more diversity here, and it’s hard being a minority in places. But that comes with time.”
A year after the business opened, Hangry is attracting customers from around Vermont, New York, and New Jersey. Erica and Ed hope that one day their side hustle can be a full-time gig.
“We’ve poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this, and this is what I love to do,” Erica says.“Our doughnuts are made with love, and I think that’s what makes them special.”