A new kind of doughnut place is coming to Fort Wayne, with a theme evoking the America of 100 years ago when ladies wore long dresses and big hats to send their loved ones off to the Great World War.

They were the doughboys, the young men given home-baked doughnuts as a way of thanks.

Parlor Doughnuts, founded in Evansville, is just that kind of shop. It will have a parlor atmosphere, just like the kind of gathering room where great-grandma, her kin and friends enjoyed singing around the piano and playing card games like whist.

But come June, this modern gathering place will offer a menu for everyone in the family – umpteen kinds of doughnuts (must spell it the old-fashioned way) with milkshakes to match. The modern twist is everything is included with offerings like a Keto doughnut, dog doughnut, vegan and gluten-free.

Feeling like you want something substantial for breakfast? There will be avocado on toast, plus your favorite breakfast sandwiches.

The shop will also offer plenty of coffee beans from Proper Coffee, served inside the shop off Lima and Carroll roads, behind Walgreen’s, or at the drive-thru.

“As far as competition, there’s nothing comparable,” says Darren Vogt, who will partner with his 22-year-old son, Gaven Vogt, for the venture. The doughnuts are “crispy on the outside and buttery on the inside. They’re “light and airy, not the typical doughnut you wish you hadn’t eaten.”

The backstory is more interesting. Vogt grew up making donuts (whoops, doughnuts) at Tom’s Donuts in Georgetown when his parents owned the store.  He even made them in college.

But wouldn’t you know, Vogt retired from a career with Allstate Insurance just in time to get back into the doughnut business with Gaven and his fiancée, Maryanna Hayden.

Maryanna is the daughter of Darrick Hayden, pastor-turned-doughnut entrepreneur, who opened his franchise in southern Indiana in 2019, Vogt said. He’d been touring the U.S. and growing fonder of great doughnuts, Americana and a love for the early 20th century history – World War I – hence the doughboys – and World War II.

“Women were making doughnuts in the war. They were given out to soldiers in World War I,” Vogt said. The doughnut parlor on Carroll Road will have a jukebox, flags and other Americana. It will become a gathering place for kids, teens and everyone else.

The plan is to open in June, and the restaurant-parlor will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The building will measure about 2,600 square feet with at least 40 seats.

Potential Fort Wayne customers in other parts of the city can look forward to other Parlor Doughnuts eventually opening. Gaven’s goal is to open up another four to five before he’s 30, and right now, he’s 22.