Ordinarily, when sinking one’s teeth into a dark-chocolate-iced devil’s-food-cake doughnut or a lemon-glazed blueberry-cake doughnut, one might expect to reach for a cup of coffee to wash it down. But during a recent tasting at Kitá Wines in Lompoc, these sumptuous morsels from God’s Country Provisions instead found their ideal marriage with a berrylicious grenache rosé for the cocoa creation and a citrusy sauvignon blanc for the blueberry cake one.
Of course, customers can pair these creations with coffee at the original God’s Country Provisions bakery in Buellton as well as its brand-new location in Los Olivos, where they make that lemon glaze with help from the nearby Los Olivos Lemons stand. But whether it’s collaborating with vintners or lemonade makers, this gourmet doughnut enterprise is all about fitting into the community.
Founded by Sarah and Loren Ollenburger and Tracy and Craig Minus, God’s Country Provisions officially launched this past January, taking over the former home of Donut Time, which had served Buellton for nearly a decade prior. The couples, who each have three children, moved to the Santa Ynez Valley relatively recently — the Minuses from Santa Barbara and the Ollenburgers from Orange County. They were all drawn to this fertile Central Coast region as a great place to raise their families. Like so many others, they quickly took to calling it “God’s Country.”
The partners were such fast friends upon meeting that they quickly decided to be business partners. They didn’t even know what they’d be doing, but they quickly had “God’s Country Provisions” ballcaps created, figuring it would be something about showcasing the region.
“We racked our brains for eight months,” said Craig Minus. “We developed the brand around this beautiful place, God’s Country, so that stuck.” Added Loren Ollenburger, “The word ‘provisions’ falls under this umbrella of hospitality.”
Soon after, Sarah Ollenburger heard that they could take over Donut Time, and what’s more divine than fresh, chewy doughnuts? “We felt it was a great way to build family and community,” said Minus. While doughnuts are the focus now, don’t be surprised if other items are offered down the road.
As a doughnut connoisseur currently working on a book about the breakfast treat’s gourmet growth, I find it remarkable that Loren Ollenburger was the one tasked with learning how to make doughnuts. He’s the only partner who had no kitchen or restaurant experience, and yet he’s succeeded admirably.
The glazes and toppings are always the stars, but the cake doughnuts are soft and moist, and the raised ones are fluffy and delicious. They’re all tantalizing from the first bite to the last, rather than just being a convenient device to showcase the M&Ms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch chunks, or bacon bits adorning them.
Right now, popular items include ones with Santa Maria–grown strawberries and the maple bacon, but the possibilities are endless. For instance, Ollenburger’s chance encounter with the owner of Sabatino’s, the sausage king of Orange County, may mean that links find their way into a concoction.
If your mouth is watering, that’s the reason lines snake out the door, as the shop, which is open from 7 a.m. to noon, sometimes sells out by 10 a.m. Some 1,500 doughnuts are fried each Saturday alone, ranging in price from $1 to $2.75. When families arrive to select their early-morning treats, kids take advantage of the bench built in below the display case so they can start gobbling them up with their eyes.
After everyone makes their selection, customers can grab a board game to play at any of the large tables. This is definitely not a place that ushers customers in and then tries to boot them out. God’s Country Provisions is designed to entertain all members of the doughnut-loving community.
252 E. Hwy 246, Suite C, Buellton; and 2902 San Marcos Ave., Unit D, Los Olivos; godscountryprovisions.com