The doughnuts at Jack Frost look like mini pieces of art with sugary dollops of cream twisting toward the sky and drizzles of caramel and chocolate imaginatively splashed across their cakey canvases. Now the iconic Old Brooklyn space has a new gallery of sorts to show off its more than 200 culinary creations. After eight months of construction, its tiny Pearl Road building has been transformed into a larger, brand-new space with wood flooring, flat-screen TVs and sleek shelves decked out with red quartz tiles. “Everything is awesome about it,” says owner Fred Borkey Jr., whose family bought the company in 2008. “It’s bigger and better and more efficient for us.” Borkey chats with us about all those crazy flavors, keeping traditions and finding inspiration.
On owning a piece of Cleveland history: Jack Frost has been around since 1937. It’s very important to have the original flavors and the original staples because that’s what a lot of our customers grew up on and that’s what we’re known for. It’s all about family and kids. It’s all about having an experience at Jack Frost and making it awesome. Every time they walk in the door I want them to go, “Wow!”
On honoring tradition: The original recipe has been handed down from the previous owners. Our customers remember those glazed doughnuts from when they were little, and there was a Jack Frost over on Broadway [Avenue] and they used to walk between Holy Name [Elementary School] and South [High School].
On how to order: I personally like to try something new all the time. I tell people to try the new things because they’re interesting. The staples are always there. I like creativity — the salted caramel, German chocolate, banana split, the cassata cake.
On being creative: We brainstorm a lot. We try to figure out what’s out there. I do a lot of research. We do take the opinion of our customers and we’ll try it. Everything we’ve tried so far has been accepted by our customers: The candy bar doughnuts have been a huge hit, the cereal doughnuts have been a huge hit, maple bacon was a huge hit.
On his largest order: We did 110 dozen in one night for a school. We had our full staff working. It was during Christmas so we had our holiday volume plus that, so it was rather large.