Mochinut comes to Athens

After the East side Menchie’s closed in 2018, the former frozen yogurt shop sat vacant in the Georgetown Square shopping center — until recently. Athens citizens have been anticipating the opening of Mochinut, an Asian-inspired donut shop based in California. 

Jaewook Ha founded Mochinut in 2020 and has since been expanding locations across the country. Mochinut also plans to open locations outside of the U.S. and has already started the process of opening stores in South Korea and Thailand.    

On Sept. 12 Mochinut opened its Athens location to the public, bringing a friendly environment and good service with it. The atmosphere in the shop has a welcoming and cheerful feel. Although the inside of the shop felt incomplete on opening day with packing boxes still out and limited seating, the space has great potential to be a lively environment. The store has sizable front windows that let in plenty of natural sunlight, making the space open and inviting. 

GRAND OPENING: Mochinut offers a welcoming aura with unique food unlike anything else in the area. Photo by Ellie Crane.

Originating from Hawaii, Mochi donuts combine Japanese mochi and American donuts. They have a different shape and texture from an average donut. Mochi donuts are made with sticky rice flour which adds a unique chewy texture, and they are constructed with eight small dough balls connected to shape a ring. Mochinut offers numerous different flavors which swap out weekly. Visible through the Mochinut Instagram, weekly flavor options are posted regularly but may vary with location.  

The Athens Mochinut opening week flavors included caramel churro, strawberry, M&M, white chocolate matcha, chocolate beignet and original which is always offered. Each donut flavor includes the same donut base with varying icings and toppings. But with each experience, customers will encounter a chance to try both classic American flavored donuts like coffee and strawberry or Asian-inspired flavored donuts such as black sesame and yuzu.

In addition to the distinctive mochi donuts, a variety of Korean corn dogs with crispy toppings such as potatoes or ramen are now being served. You can choose between a filling of mozzarella cheese, a regular hot dog, or both. Menu items also include boba, a Taiwanese drink commonly served with tapioca pearls in a sweet milk tea base. 

Although the food is well made, there seems to be a lack of ingredients to serve every customer’s exact order. On opening day the shop was out of tapioca pearls only four hours after opening. The day they started serving corn dogs, they were also out of multiple types and toppings leaving scarce options. The Athens Mochinut is also not prepared to serve ice cream, a common treat served with their donuts at other locations, for at least a year.

As Mochinut expands, it’s exciting to see Athens citizens experience Asian-American food in a creative way. With flavor options changing regularly, almost anyone’s preferences will eventually be met. But, with food falling on more of the extra sweet or oily side and being slightly pricey, going to Mochinut will likely be a special occasion. Still, the shop offers a space to have fun with friends and family whether that be playing with their complimentary foosball table or taking pictures by their photo backdrop.

Mia La

Senior Mia La is a Staff Writer for BluePrints Magazine. Her dream career path is to work in design, but she is interested in anything that allows her to be creative. Outside of school La likes drawing, listening to music, and watching movies. She hopes to learn new things about writing and photography while also strengthening her artistic abilities. She enjoys having freedom to express herself through BluePrints.

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