CUMMING, Ga. — Their doughnuts are spectacular and the local online community knows all about them.
There’s a maple bar, Boston cream, lemon meringue, caramel apple fritter and of course, their business’ namesake — the Dutch Monkey — dulce de leche (a thick Spanish-style caramel sauce) filled with bananas.
Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, 3075 Ronald Reagan Boulevard, was one of 10 finalists chosen in the “Big Break,” a national American Express Open and Facebook-sponsored contest to promote small businesses.
Owners Martin Burge and Arpana Satyu say they are thrilled.
“We try to bring what we learned in fine dining into our doughnuts,” said Satyu.
If their business wins, they will receive $25,000 and expert advice from both American Express Open and Facebook for a one-on-one strategy session to drive customers to their door.
Winners will be announced in early September.
“We just do basic social media, but we’re ready to take the next step and find out how we can use Facebook to better connect with and target new customers,” Satyu said.
In addition, Cumming small business owners will also be invited to take part in a community-wide meeting.
“We have a lot of small business owners who shop here and we talk to them every day, and we’d like to share that with everyone,” she said.
One more perk to winning is a cash back promotion. If you shop at a Cumming-area small business that accepts American Express, a $25 credit will go back to your account for supporting a small business. These perks are just for the cities that win.
Burge is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and Satyu is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute of New York.
They were both working in fine dining in New York and moved to Cumming in 2007.
The couple worked in Atlanta-area restaurants, but living in Cumming, they quickly became frustrated with their commute.
“So we thought it would be fun to open up a small place where we could handle it ourselves,” Satyu said.
Because they had always made doughnuts to snack on, they decided elevate the flavors and bring customers an upscale version.
In October 2009, they found the perfect location near the Avenue Forsyth, north on Ronald Reagan Boulevard.
The reviews from the community have been great.
“Especially in this economy,” said Satyu. “It’s been frightening how many businesses have opened and closed since we’ve been open. It’s always something to worry about and it’s always hard to get a small business up and running…it’s harder for a start-up.”
Dutch Monkey Doughnuts also serves up community spirit with outdoor concerts once a year and parking lot garage sale. Through their charity group, “Team Dutch Monkey,” they raise money for blood cancer research for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
To support Dutch Monkey, online voting takes place until Aug. 31 at https://www.facebook.com/Open?sk=app_166714850131039