Grindstone Coffee & Donuts Rolls Into Sag Harbor

There’s nothing like taking a bite out of a decadent, glazed donut and washing it down with a sip of freshly brewed java. Grindstone Coffee & Donuts in Sag Harbor opened this month and has made it their mission to deliver this tried-and-true pairing to the public.

“I wanted to bring the style of a donut shop that is super prevalent in the Midwest to the Hamptons,” said owner Kyle Shanahan. “It’s something year round, people can walk around with or take to the beach and it’s easy to make on site.”

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The ambiance at Grindstone Coffee & Donuts is as timeless as its fare. There are vintage black tin ceilings, a 100-year old workbench coffee station, menu boards with rustic black and white letters and nautical pendent light shades.

The shop also serves as an art gallery that exhibits the work of emerging artists and has vintage books and comics from Shanahan’s personal collection.

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image: michael cooper

“It’s a reflection of the community. If we push local art, we have a direct impact on the look and feel of the town. People who live here see it and have a sense of pride, knowing that there is some real talent here and that it’s not all fleeing to NYC.”

It’s laid-back and quaint, but behind the counter, Grindstone Coffee & Donuts is bustling. The staff makes 1,300 donuts every weekday in the summer and 2,200 on the weekends.

The dough is prepared fresh every night in small batches (250 a tray) and stored in a large container. It is then rolled out by hand and left to sit overnight for a second time to enhance the flavor, creating a firm exterior and fluffy interior.

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image: michael cooper

“The fermentation process I use has a happy side effect. It gives the dough a buttery, yeasty taste that is also very tender.”

It’s already been a recipe for success. Visitors travel far and wide for the four Grindstone staples: classic glazed (honey vanilla bean), cinnamon sugar, strawberry buttermilk with rainbow sprinkles and chai spiced powdered sugar. Grindstone rotates four other options daily, throwing rich crème brulee, Nutella s’more, peanut butter glazed and blueberry lemon zest curveballs into the mix.

One of their most coveted pastries so far has been the everything bagel donut. Slathered in a cream cheese glaze and coated with poppy and sesame seeds, garlic and salt, it puts a dulcet twist on one of Long Island’s iconic breakfast essentials. Customers may want to arrive early—the delicious treats usually sell out before 10am everyday.

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image: michael cooper

There’s plenty of java. The café is filled to the brim with custom roasts that are made to order. There are Ethiopian coffee blends with hints of citrus, frothy espressos and a dark smoky brew called Big City that is made with raspberry jam, molasses and dark chocolate.

It pairs best with the Nutella s’mores donut, dipped in graham cracker crumbs and filled with a brûléed marshmallow fluff.

“It’s very sweet, and the rich smoky flavor of the Big City balances it nicely. And then you have the toasted marshmallow…it reminds me of camping.”

Mornings are officially sweeter.