The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 31

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Time to
Make the Donuts
By Susan N. Denaro, Esquire

For about seven years, Adam
Kenderdine's business card listed him as
the Judicial Coordinator for the Senior
Judges on the Berks County Court of
Common Pleas. Then one day, he traded
it in for one that read "OWNER & MAD
SCIENTIST." However, this scientist uses
a blowtorch instead of a Bunsen burner.
In July of 2016, he officially opened
Benchwarmers Coffee shop at 400 Penn
Avenue, West Reading, which he calls
a "coffee shop with a donut problem"
because, to his surprise, he sells more
donuts a day than cups of coffee.
For several years, he had been building
a following as a coffee roaster while
working in the courthouse. When he
decided to go all in and open his own store
front, he knew he needed to sell more
than just coffee to cover the rent and did
not want to offer the typical sandwich
fare. Instead, he opted to focus on pastries
and desserts to boost sales. Within a very
short time, his unique donuts pushed all
other pastries out of consideration; he sells
approximately 100 donuts each weekday
and 200-300 on the weekend. He sells
between 75 and 100 cups of coffee a day.
"I took a look at the equipment left
behind in the space and decided the fryer
would come in handy for fried pastry for
the morning crowd," Kenderdine explained
about the decision to make donuts. "I took
a course about a week before I opened to
learn how to make the donuts. It's bread
dough that we make the day before, and
we have it proof in the refrigerator so it is
easier to work with."
Each donut is made to order and takes
about eight minutes to complete-just
enough time to dress a cup of coffee and
enjoy the first few sips while one waits.
The most popular donut he offers is
a 'smores' one featuring chocolate icing,
graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows
that have been scorched with a blowtorch.
Other toppings include berries, coconut,

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bacon and even siracha for the truly
adventurous. James Hampton, whose
business card reads coffee roaster, barista
and BOY WONDER, admits, "More
7
people ask about how the siracha tastes
than actually order it."
In the six months since his shop
opened, he has already sold over 10,000
donuts. He broke even in his first month,
a rarity for food establishments opening
in the summer months.
Kenderdine's passion for coffee began
back in his courthouse days. "It was a
habit I fell into, and I thought it was
hard to find a good, regular cup of black
coffee as so many places offer everything
flavored."
To solve that problem, he started
roasting his own beans, having learned
the process through information found
on the internet. He began by roasting
just a couple of ounces at a time and
is now roasting about two and a half
pounds at a crack. He says he increases
the size of his roaster as his budget
allows and is currently looking to buy a
bigger roaster to help him keep up with
the requests of his faithful following.
He boasts that he offers coffee beans
from the three main coffee regions of
the world: Africa, Asia and Central and
South America. His Sumatra roast is
the darkest, the Ethiopian is the lightest
and the Colombian is in between them.
He does offer some seasonally flavored
coffee such as pumpkin spice. To answer
customer demand, he now serves loose
leaf teas from India and Asia as well and
reports that his Chai Tea is the most

popular drink among the tea drinkers.
His donuts are not for the faint of
heart. They are best eaten while still warm,
with a fork and knife, and are so large
that they can be tough to finish in one
sitting. He fries each side for a minute
before it hits the counter to be dressed
to order. My favorite is the vanilla glazed
with strawberries but the chocolate glazed
version is equally delicious. Both Hampton
and Kenderdine admit that their favorite
donuts are the plain glazed ones.
It is not a shop for someone with a
sweet tooth to venture into when dieting
as one's resolve can quickly fade while
watching these treats being created. The
donuts are priced at $2.00 each, $10.00
for a half dozen and $20.00 for a dozen.
While that might sound pricey, it really
isn't given the size of each donut and the
time and attention that is put into making
each one.
The best part is Kenderdine's promise
that the center of each donut he sells is "fat
free."
Benchwarmers Coffee & Doughnuts
400 Penn Avenue
West Reading, PA
610-374-2326
Monday-Friday 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday 7:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday 7:00 am to 4:00 pm
Ms. Denaro is with the Wyomissing law
firm of Georgeaidis||Setley.
Winter 2017 | 31


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The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 1
The Berks Barrister Winter 2017 - 2
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