Peterborough family talks donut pop up 

  • Malcolm Graham, 14, serves donuts out of a 1979 pop-up trailer called Burro Bites during The Thing In The Spring on Friday, June 6, 2018. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)  Staff photo by Ben Conant—Monandock Ledger-Transcript

  • Malcolm Graham, 14, serves donuts out of a 1979 pop-up trailer called Burro Bites during The Thing In The Spring on Friday, June 6, 2018. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • A 1979 pop-up trailer called Burro Bites serves donuts during The Thing In The Spring on Friday, June 6, 2018. (Ben Conant/ Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/12/2018 3:20:03 PM

Malcolm Graham picked donuts up using tongs, put them into a brown paper bag, and handed them out to a smiling customer Friday afternoon.

“[Donuts are] a happy product, so people generally are happy and they don’t mind waiting because they know it’s hot, they know it’s fresh and they got a good deal,” Malcolm’s mom Kim said while standing inside of a 1979 trailer that the family bought back in March.

Kim said they launched the business called Burro Bites in May.  

The process starts with a dough that is mixed right there in the trailer.

“It’s just a basic mix of nothing that’s good for you basically,” Kim said with a laugh.  

The dough is dumped into a cone-shaped machine that punches out small spheres that are dropped into a conveyor belt of hot oil. The small circles are pushed along the belt, flipped and cooked in the oil on the other side.

The end result, are small donuts that can be eaten plain or are dipped in sugar, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar.

There is a science behind the whole process, Kim said, the water that they use to mix has to be a certain temperature, and the dough has to be a certain temperature depending on the weather. She said they made a batch in the winter one time and they had to put a heat lamp near the dough to keep it warm.

“There’s this whole algorithm and we’ve kind of just learned by default,” Kim said.

Kim said a friend owned the truck and ran a small donut operation out of it a number of years ago. Their friends eventually sold the truck and to someone in Vermont, who also operated a donut business out of the trailer.

Kim said she told the guy in Vermont that she’d be interested in buying the trailer if he ever wanted to sell it. Initially, she said her husband Jim wasn’t that interested in the idea, although he changed his mind when he saw the trailer.

Kim said she homeschools her two kids, Malcolm, 14, and Lauren, 10. She said both of the kids work in the donut trailer, which provides good real-world experience.

“There’s not many places that a 10-year-old can work and make money, or a 14-year-old ‘cause he’s not quite there yet,” Kim said.

“I’m in the middle of doing chores and getting paid and going to work,” Graham said.  

Kim said her husband has a job in information technology and she runs the website GoMonadnock. If the donut trailer becomes more self-sustaining they may be able to shift more of their focus toward the business. Kim said at some point the family may decide to pack the donut trailer up and follow the weather to Florida.

“That would be so cool,” Malcolm said his eyes wide.

“You’re going to be in school then,” Kim said in response, adding that Malcolm will be attending a military school in Pennsylvania starting this fall.

Right now, the family is just doing pop-ups at events across the region, like the Uplift Music Festival in Greenfield and a summer festival in Wilton. They were open for the Thing in the Spring last week. Kim said they also have the capacity to put together platters for birthday parties and baby showers.

They’ve also partnered with other businesses around town like Vicuna Chocolate, where they poured chocolate over the donuts, and with Charlie’s Old Time Creamery, where they did maple flavored donuts.

“We are going to do as much as we can this year and then next year we can be like OK what do we really want to do? What’s feasible?” Kim said.

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