“Meet the Vendor” Josh Danoff, Owner of Union Square Donuts

Welcome back to our new weekly blog series -“Meet the Vendor” – where you’ll learn more about the special people you meet at the Market who grow, catch, and produce your food. Find out why they love what they do, where it all started, and what they do in their free time (hint: its usually involves food!).

Tell us a little bit about your business.

We are based in Somerville, MA and have been in business for about 3 years now. We make some of the best donuts you will ever have in your life. We start off with really good ingredients, like Cabot butter, King Arthur flour, milk from a small farm in Western Mass, and maple syrup from a couple in Vermont. Our work is already labor intensive, but at the end of the day that quality is what separates our donuts from the rest.

What is your favorite item you sell?

I don’t usually like to talk about my favorite donut in front of the other donuts, but my favorite is the Sugar Raised. It’s a simple donut tossed in our fine sugar. There’s nowhere for that donut to hide – you get to really taste our dough and because that’s good, you know everything else is going to be good.

What has been your biggest career accomplishment or proudest moment?

We all work hard, we all put in a lot of hours and we make sacrifices, so for me the best moments are the little ones – when you see someone bite into a donut and they don’t say anything, they just kind of close their eyes a little bit, they lean back and you see it on their face. To be able to see that and be a part of that makes everything worth it.

Why were you interested in joining the market?

We had been doing outdoor farmers markets with the BPM for a number of years. We actually started off with fresh fruit popsicles, Ocean Ave Pops, then we moved on to donuts. We wanted to be a part of it because it was always this very interesting concept – it’s not an outdoor farmers market but it’s not traditional retail either, it’s a hybrid. So to think we’d be able to have the chance to be surrounded by great vendors, places with both complementary and different products, and to have a presence in Boston, was an exciting opportunity. And because we believe in the market; we believed in it before we got here and we believe in it still.

What is your favorite thing about working at the market?

Getting to be around a number of different great vendors, some who we knew from farmers markets like Stow Greenhouses, who I’ve been getting lilies from for ages, and Silverbrook Farm, whose eggs I’ve been eating for years. I love being in a place where people come to get their veggies, and when they’re here, they end up getting a donut too or vise versa.

What is your favorite Boston restaurant?

A burger from Highland Kitchen, and German chocolate cake from Bronwyn’s.

What was the first thing that you learned how to cook?

Grandma’s cheese and eggs, with Grandma.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have a 2-year-old daughter named Josephine, who we call Joey, and if I’m not working then I just want to be with her playing. I go to work in the morning and she goes to play, so when I come home all I want to do is play.