Those who frequent southern West Palm Beach are familiar with Aioli, which has gained a cult following for its divine daily specials and baked goods. On Saturdays, families know to head there as early as possible to score some doughnuts.
“The kids are still in PJs when they roll in with their parents,” says Melanie Hackman, who runs Aioli with her husband, chef Michael Hackman. “In season there is a line before the doors open. It’s a roll of the dice. Some mornings we are sold out by 9, some days you get lucky.”
The doughnuts are available only on Saturdays. The process begins with a weekly meeting between chef Michael and his pastry team, led by Sabrina Fiorentino. The doughnuts start with a brioche dough that is transformed with seasonal flavors. Think: pumpkin spice, Dutch apple, bourbon pecan, and even s’mores.
As Melanie notes, the endeavor is a labor of love. “Our bakery runs 20 hours a day, and Saturday’s bake is the largest of the week. First shift begins at 10 p.m. on Friday night. Music is cranked high to keep the team rolling.”