Photo: GMW

Gourmet doughnuts have found a home in Wilton Center, as Rise Doughnuts is ready to open this Sunday, Mar. 13. Owners Hugh Mangum and Laura Malone have lovingly restored the historic building at 28 Center St., creating a haven for heartbreakingly-good halos of deliciousness, and they’re eagerly looking forward to opening their doors and welcoming customers in.

In the past, the Rise team operated as a pop-up shop using the kitchens at The Schoolhouse and Parlor restaurants. There, they were limited in what they could make and sell, and customers would line up hours before opening time to get a few goodies before Rise sold out before noon.

Now, their new spot is a permanent home-very sweet-home. Mangum anticipates opening on Sunday at 8 a.m., and staying open until around 3 p.m. And because it’s his kitchen now and not borrowed space, he said in just that one day he’ll be able to make as many doughnuts as he used to make in a whole weekend at The Schoolhouse. That means more happy customers and no limit to the number of doughnuts anyone can purchase.

What flavors will be up for the choosing this first Sunday? Mangum told us they’ll have Aztec cinnamon; “Wilton Cream” (his version of Boston cream to honor Rise’s birthplace); brown butter vanilla (their version of glazed); dark chocolate sea salt; and roasted blackberry glaze. And of course, Rise will also be serving up its now-famous apple fritters. Plus, there’s delicious coffee, cold brew, hot chocolate, chai tea as well.

This Sunday is a soft open. In fact, Rise will be open only on weekends for a bit because right now they’ve got just a temporary certificate of occupancy from the town, until a side entry access ramp is completed in a couple weeks. Once that happens, Mangum said Rise will welcome customers Wednesdays through Sundays — and expanding the menu a bit.

“We’ll add a couple of things during the week, some great versions of a couple of breakfast sandwiches, using Millstone Farm eggs and prociutto or gran serano or chorizo. We’ll do a veggie option and use local produce whenever available. When we start doing that, we’ll probably open up at 7 a.m. eventually, and during the week we’ll try to stay open until 3, 4, 5 o’clock, depending on what feels best,” Mangum said.

He also plans on bringing back something they started at The Schoolhouse: on Friday and Saturday nights, Rise will have fritters and soft serve ice cream.

“Those nights we’ll be open so people who are eating in town, whether it’s at Parlor, or Red Rooster or any of the number of places in Wilton, if they want to grab dessert, grab a cappuccino, whether it’s a doughnut or a fritter or soft serve, we’ll have that available to them.”

Malone and Mangum designed the space to feel like a peaceful, welcoming retreat to treat your tastebuds. Customers stepping into the shop will be embraced in a (let’s call it) ‘ScandiYankian’ esthetic, with warm grey and white tones and pale wood features that will instantly set them at ease and let the star of the show, the doughnuts, take center stage. You’ll even be able to see the magic happen through windows that look into the kitchen letting diners watch the doughnuts-making process.

“I just wanted the vibe to be warm and welcome, sort of mirroring back how everybody has received Rise — being so welcoming to us as newcomers to Wilton,” said Malone, who oversaw the renovation and design.

Her husband echoed how they wanted to return the feeling they got moving to Wilton. “What we really want is for people to walk in and just get a sense of calm and as a place to gather and see people, talk and chat and catch up. We want it to be peaceful and warm and inviting.”

And delicious. Don’t forget delicious!