Donut Madness: Sacramento gourmet doughnuts from Psycho Donuts founder

The founder of Psycho Donuts—a hotspot in Silicon Valley for its crazy gourmet doughnuts and crazier decor—will launch a new fried dough concept in Sacramento next month: Donut Madness.

Instead of Psycho Donuts’ kitschy take on a mental institution, Donut Madness gets its imagery from horror movies. But there will still be plenty of kitsch.

Kipp Berdiansky hopes to open Donut Madness in late August at 2648 Watt Avenue. The building used to be a credit union, and Berdiansky says he’s utilizing the pre-existing paneling to create a movie theater-esque exterior, with columns of vintage horror film posters. Inside, customers will find an Employee of the Month wall, only inside the frames are villainous masks, such as Jason’s hockey mask from Friday the 13th; a not-functioning guillotine, prime for selfies; a doughnut display case that resembles a coffin; servers with bloody aprons; and other gags. “It’s like a horror Disneyland,” Berdiansky says.

As for the doughnuts, Berdiansky will duplicate some of the recipes he invented while at Psycho Donuts, such as the popular apricot fritters. The style is much like Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut, with cereal toppings and outrageous names. There’s an old fashioned dipped in marshmallow and Rice Krispies. There’s a maple bar topped with potato chips. Doughnut holes are piled into popcorn-style cups with sauces and toppings, with names like Blood and Guts and Rocky Roadkill. And all sorts of shapes: squares, triangles, coffins.

“And lots of bacon, of course,” Berdiansky says.

The Monster Mash, with potato chips, M&M’s and pretzels. // photos courtesy of Kipp Berdiansky

Berdiansky estimates an offering of about 30 doughnuts, with most going for $1.75.

Berdiansky is an engineer by trade in San Jose. His first exposure to the gourmet doughnut world was a trip to Voodoo in 2008.

“The engineering part of my head took over,” he says. “I thought, ‘This looks pretty doable.’”

He opened up Psycho Donuts with a partner in 2009 and it was an instant success–though, not without controversy for its puns on mental illnesses and straitjacket decor. Berdiansky sold Psycho off shortly thereafter but did a little doughnut business consulting on the side. Donut Madness is his second big venture though, and research on number of doughnut shops per 10,000 people pointed him to Sacramento.

“I drove to Sacramento and just talked to people—they really love doughnuts here,” he says.

Indeed, Sacramento already has some excellent gourmet doughnuts between Sweet Dozen and Bakers Donuts, but Donut Madness will offer something that’s been lacking in the scene since Doughbot’s departure: vegan doughnuts. Berdiansky says he’s not entirely sure on the flavors or number of vegan doughnuts offered each day, but there will be vegan doughnuts offered each day. Tell all your vegan friends.

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