About six years ago, foodies – New Yorkers and tourists alike – were bedazzled by the taste and photogenic appeal of the Cronut when it was introduced by Dominique Ansel Bakery in 2014. The shop, the lines, the cronut went viral and the line formed as early as 6 a.m. Today, the croissant with a donut exterior sustains some of its hype but the shop’s savvy owners have come up with a new product: the DKA, a small caramelized croissant with brown sugar.
The Instagram-famous Cronut was famous for the taste of its cream filling, the freshness of its smell, the variety of its flavors and the elegance of its decoration. Today, there is still a line for Cronuts in front of the store but it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to get inside.
The lines are shorter partly because Dunkin Donuts offers a $2.49 “croissant donuts” versions of the $6 Cronut and partly because the original Cronuts are now available online, where customers can buy six pastries at once as opposed to the two-units limit in the store.
Among those who waited in line on a sunny New York afternoon were kids impatient for their desserts, girlfriends already taking pictures for Instagram and tourists checking off another item from their bucket lists. They were all first timers and were disappointed to find a sign inside saying: “Cronuts Sold Out for Today.”
Apparently, limited production and high demand is what sustains the line: “It takes three days to make a Cronut, so our daily production is limited to 500 items, and they are sold out before 12 p.m. everyday” said Khalid Sirjue, who works as a waiter.
In response to the continued demand—and as a marketing strategy to keep customer coming in the afternoon after cronuts are sold out—Cronut inventor French Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel created Dominique’s Kouign Amann, (DKA). The small Cronut-shaped pastry attracts regulars as well as newbies who can’t get a Cronut fix.
The bakery got so popular that it hires greeters to tell people that the line to enter the store starts outside. The interior is quite simple and the pastries speak for themselves. Seating is available inside, starting from the register all the way back towards the open kitchen, and at the terrace where a floral wall serves as a designated Instagram spot.
Marcelle Danza of Florida was waiting on line one recent early afternoon, sadly too late. “It is kind of devastating that they are sold out but the other options are just as great,” she said, as she took a bite of her DKA.
Dominique Ansel Bakery is no stranger to special occasions with its unique pastries: “It is my birthday today and my boyfriend decided to take me here,” said Kinjal Patel, who blew out the candle on her stack of DKA’s. “I’d prefer this over a traditional birthday cake every day,” she said.