a-passion-for-donuts

A Passion For Donuts

Baker Jasmine Macon, 33, said she hopes customers will be open-minded about her confections. Macon owns Beyond Amazing Donuts, a donut shop in Charlotte that specializes in next-level donuts.

The shop’s selections are seasonal and range from glazed, dipped, sprinkled or filled.

Macon, a native of Thomasville, N.C., told QCity Metro she has been practicing her craft since she was a child.

Jasmine Macon by Rico Marcelo Photography

“My inspiration to start baking came from my greediness as a kid,” Macon said. “I ate so much that my grandmother was like, ‘Listen, I’ve made all the meals I’m going to make for the day. If you’re going to eat like this, you need to make your own meals.’” 

So she did.

Macon began baking using her Easy Bake Oven, a working toy oven that could bake small items. She then moved on to box cake recipes, cookies, and other semi-homemade snacks.

“I made a lot of nasty stuff!” she laughed. “But I absolutely had the opportunity to be creative.”

Finding her own passion

In 2008, Macon moved to the Queen City to pursue a pastry and baking career at Johnson and Wales University. 

“Growing up, I was the [odd one out] because my sisters just couldn’t figure out my interest in baking and being in the kitchen,” Macon said. “My sisters cook, but it’s not their passion. They both have careers in the medical field and here I am, the middle child and the baker,” she said.

Macon said learned early that the most important thing in life is to pursue one’s dreams.

BADonuts staff photo by Jonathan Cooper

It’s a belief she shares with her father, an award-winning martial artist, who’s owned a dojo – or studio – in Maryland for most of her life. Macon credits his influence and impact on his community as something she aspires to achieve herself.

“For a little while, I practiced under my dad, and he thought I would be interested in taking over his karate shop,” Macon said. “But our passions were different. It took him a little while to understand that, but he sees now that I love baking as much as he loves martial arts.”

A ‘dozen’ ideas

Although Macon enjoyed baking and wanted to eventually own her own business, she wasn’t initially convinced that donuts were it. She had a dozen other ideas she considered first in her pocket when real-life experience helped bring her vision into focus.

After earning her degree, Macon worked in niche bakeries and “mom-and-pop shops” around the city until she landed a role as the pastry chef at Leah and Louise, a popular restaurant in Charlotte.

She told QCity Metro she wanted to work there to learn under its owner and head chef. “I was intimidated, but I knew the risk was worth the reward.”

At Leah and Louise, Macon discovered she preferred being a baker specifically over being a classic pastry chef. 

“[Pastry chefs] create art on a plate,” Macon said. “I create art in a box.” 

Growing into her own

Macon began focusing on donuts and selling her creations around the city.

After a couple of years hosting pop-up shops at Camp North End’s Hex Coffee and at The Market at 7th Street Uptown, Macon opened Beyond Amazing Donuts’ brick-and-mortar space in April 2023.

Macon said although she has owned her space now, she’s still learning things, like leading her own staff.

BADonut staff by Rico-Marcelo Photography

“I had to learn to trust others with the integrity of my recipes and to navigate a new relationship with them. They tell me I’ve done a great job moving into my role as a leader. I think it’s all in the communication.”

Another adjustment Macon said she’s had to make is operating as brick-and-mortar, where she sees a higher volume of customers and people have more access to her.

She also said she’s working on getting new customers to understand the uniqueness of her offerings.

“At Camp North End, people know about my donuts. Here, I’m learning how to show people why my donuts are a little different than others they might be used to in the area.”

Some of her most popular flavors include Black Garlic Everything and Brown Butter with Sorghum Caramel.

Aside from its physical location — at 1730 Abbey Place, Suite 4 in Charlotte–, Beyond Amazing Donuts can be found at Wentworth & Fenn and The Market at Seventh Street.

“When people think of donuts in Charlotte, I want them to think of me,” Macon said.

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