Cider Doughnuts Meet Their Match: Joe the Grower, Poughquag NY

Pumpkin Doughnuts - Joe the Grower, Poughquag, NY - Photo by Sparrow HallPumpkin & Banana Doughnuts – Joe the Grower – Poughquag, NY

Everyone loves a cider doughnut.
In fact, a few of us have made it our personal quest to find the best cider doughnut in Upstate New York. You’d think it would be easy given the number of apple orchards and farm stands. But anyone who’s made it their mission will tell you there’s a science to creating an extraordinary apple cider doughnut – and a multitude of disappointments that one can encounter. Overly cakey doughnuts. Greasy, limp donuts. Weird little dwarf doughnuts. Or the most baffling of them all: a shortage of doughnuts in general. Then, on the flip side, when you do actually find a place that makes good cider doughnuts, it’s completely overrun. Just last weekend I went to a local orchard with relatively good cider doughnuts and it was like trying to find parking at the Renaissance Fair.

But here’s the good news. Hidden away on the little back roads of Upstate New York are a scattering of doughnut aficionados that make up for all the rest. And if you’re lucky you might even discover one that takes the science of the perfect doughnut to a whole new degree of delectability.

Joe Giangrande with Honeycomb - Joe the Grower, Poughquag, NY - Photo by Sparrow HallJoe Giangrande with Honeycomb – Joe the Grower, Poughquag, NY

Meet Joe Giangrande, otherwise known as Joe the Grower in Poughquag, NY, a charming hamlet just off the Taconic State Parkway, about 20 minutes south of Poughkeepsie.

Joe the Grower - Poughquag NY

Humble in size, but remarkable in its output, Joe’s Honeycomb Cafe (and adjoining garden shop) is absolutely crushing the doughnut business. Not only is Joe offering an excellent representation of the beloved apple cider doughnut (with just the right blend of cakiness and fried-ness), but two other homemade varieties that are out to dethrown the classic.

Pumpkin Doughnuts - Joe the Grower, Poughquag, NY - Photo by Sparrow HallPumpkin Doughnuts

Banana Doughnuts and Pumpkin Doughnuts.
Normally relegated to the muffin case, bananas and pumpkins have long been overlooked in the world of doughnuts. Imagine a banana or a pumpkin loaf in doughnut form, lightly fried, giving it that crisp, wonderful butteriness. Sounds amazing, right? I suggest you buy one of each and conduct your own taste test – banana, pumpkin, and classic (each are offered with out without sugar) – and see which one comes out on top.

Doughnut Signs - Joe the Grower - Poughquag, NY

And what about those mums?
While you’re at the shop, pop into the greenhouse and pick up some beautiful flowers for Mom.

Mums - Joe the Grower - Poughquag NY - Photo by Sparrow Hall

Haven’t locked down a pumpkin yet?
Joe’s got you covered. Grab one off the weathered wooden cart out front.

Pumpkins - Joe the Grower - Poughquag NY - Photo by Sparrow Hall

Looking for something a bit more unusual?
How about one of these artful, alien-shaped gourds?

Gourds - Joe the Grower - Poughquag NY - Photo by Sparrow Hall

Planning to get your cuddle on?
Grab a bundle of seasoned firewood.

Firewood - Joe the Grower - Poughquag NY - Photo by Sparrow Hall

And who is that lovable cat?
That would be Honeycomb, the cafe’s namesake, beloved mascot, and co-owner, pictured here manning the register.

Honeycomb - Joe the Grower - Poughquag NY - Photo by Sparrow Hall

The next time you’re heading up or down the Taconic, be sure to hit Joe the Grower along the way. He’s open 7 days a week, 9 am – 5 pm, mid-March til Christmas Eve. Enjoy!

Joe the Grower
1127 Route 216
Poughquag, NY 12570
(845) 724-5503

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