Makers Donuts Opens Today – With Free Donuts

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

This is where we find out precisely who the truly devoted readers of Inside of Knoxville – and true doughnut lovers – really are. As of 7:00 AM this morning, Makers Donuts not only opens, but owners Sean and Sara Alsobrooks will be dishing out a free confection to each customer until they are gone. You early readers are in luck, while the rest of you will likely need to wait until tomorrow for your first taste.

The long-anticipated doughnut shop has proven to be no different than all the other businesses in that everything required to prepare and ultimately open the doors has taken just a bit longer than anticipated. The couple open Remedy Coffee (to instant success, I might add) just a few weeks ago and what followed was a long trial-and-error experience to develop the perfect doughnuts they want to serve. I’m told they’ve broken the code.

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

Today the couple will offer two of the varieties you’ll get to know in coming weeks: Maple Bacon and Chocolate Ganache with sea salt. Having a hard time deciding which you’d reach for? Me, too. Starting tomorrow morning you’ll find those two along with about ten others which will constitute a normal offering. The couple told me they’ll have about a dozen choices each day, which will include six you can always expect and rotating choices among the others.

And they are more than ready to get started. Sean said, “I feel like it’s been the longest doughnut opening in the world.” They’ve been testing to make sure the doughnuts look good, taste good and are consistent. The Remedy baristas have sacrificed by taste-testing numerous batches. It’s tricky. Sara said it’s taught her that her skills are best used up-front, greeting customers, with a little doughnut decorating on the side.

With all the exploration of wide-ranging ideas and experimentation, Sara said it has felt like “an artist studio.” The Bourbon Blueberry doughnut was a lot of fun as they experimented with precisely how much of the whiskey should be added and continued to up the amount as they went. Everyone has been cross-trained to do the various tasks and they will arrive at 4:00 AM each day they are open in order to have fresh product waiting for you at 7:00 AM.

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

You’ll find local products like Cruze Farm milk, Benton’s bacon and Mother Earth meats. Other products come from Three Rivers Market and the couple anticipates using local fruits and berries when those are in season. You’ll find the same Intelligentsia coffee served at Remedy, though for fancy coffee drinks you’ll have to step next door. While not present initially, Sean said they will definitely have a gluten-free doughnut soon. They’ve also given thought to a vegan doughnut, but have figured that out just yet as the food is, after all, fried in lard – very high quality lard, I’m told.

Some things you’ll find, once they officially open on Saturday morning: A Cinnamon Sugar Cider Mill doughnut inspired by the doughnuts people commonly enjoy with cider in the apple orchards of their native Michigan each fall. You’ll also find 50 cent “shooters” of Cruze Farm milk to go with a single doughnut, delivered on cute metal serving trays stashed between the slats of the re-purposed pallets behind the counter.

Owners Sean and Sara Alsobrooks, Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

Owners Sean and Sara Alsobrooks, Makers Donuts, 804 Tyson St., Knoxville, January 2016

The new location will share a patio with Remedy in good weather and parking will be street parking just like it has been for Remedy. Sean pointed out that parking has made all the difference for the new location and said, again, how much he appreciates the city making changes to allow it. They are enjoying being situated beside beautiful Gray Cemetery and were excited recently to realize they can see the city skyline through the trees now that they are bare. They are both very high on the potential of their immediate surrounding area which they are calling Downtown North.

The regular hours, beginning Saturday, will be Thursday through Sunday, 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM, though those hours might expand. Both Remedy and Makers will be open late next Friday (First Friday). Regular prices are $2 per doughnut, $12 for a half-dozen and $18 for a dozen. Coffee is $2.50, but a doughnut/coffee combo is $4.


  1. Looking forward to trying coffee and a donut. Congratulations and best of luck.

  2. So happy to see that building put to good use. My family spent many happy days and nights there when it was Knoxville Children’s Theatre. It may be all shiny and new now, but we felt right at home when we walked in for our donuts this morning.

  3. Big congrats to you both on your hard work and success! Looking forward to lots of delicious goodies!

  4. Congratulations to Sean and Sara! They picked a great location and the interior renovation is very attractive as well.

  5. We will have to go back tomorrow morning! We walked in just as they were giving away their last donut of the day. It was a really cute place, though, and in a great little neighborhood! Thanks for the article!

  6. All roads lead to Makers — Broadway, Gay, and Central all (sort of) lead there from downtown. It’s nice to have a destination to walk to out that direction.

  7. Personally I think 2.00 is a lot of “bread” for one doughnut. Maybe these are really special?

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      It isn’t cheap. I haven’t seen a doughnut in person 🙂 so I can’t verify size, but what goes into them sounds very different from Krispy Kreme. It will also help me have what I should have – one.

    • Agreed.

    • You can buy yourself a cheap beer PBR or a Bud or go for a bit more pricey specialty brew same with food $2 or more is not uncommon for donuts like these fresh made small batch with intresting flavors. They are going to do amazing!

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Update: Friday they gave away every doughnut they made. Saturday they sold every doughnut they made and closed early. Sunday same. Thursday, same again. I got the last doughnut at 11:50 AM and they had planned to be open until two. They can’t make them fast enough. And my review? Soft inside, crunchy outside, covered with dark chocolate and a touch of sea salt. Amazing.

  8. Bummer on the lard for those who are Kosher, etc, but fingers crossed their vegan version will be good!

    • rhonda crippen says

      Hopefully, they will come up with a vegan one soon for those of us who don’t do lard. Hope your business is a success!!! Good luck!

  9. Best wishes to them! Everything sounds delicious, just hope their hours expand soon so we can try it out. Where I come from there are donut shops that are open 24 hours and have been open for 40+ years, and the donuts are definitely better than Krispy Kreme and it’s all made fresh, yet are only anywhere from .25 to .50 a piece. These little Ohio shops are definitely more on the working-class end of things, though, and Makers seems like a different sort of donut shop from your Richy Creme or Dippin Donuts down here. And…now I’m hungry!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.