In February, I first caught up with Billings entrepreneurs Klay Welter and Trevan Sparboe when they began making waves on social media with their concept for a new gourmet donut shop in the Magic City. They were only taking small custom orders at that time, as they perfected their donut recipes and techniques. You kind of had to know someone who knew someone if you wanted to get your hands on one of their awesome specialty donuts. Now, everybody can try them, as Proof Donuts is now open on 24th Street West.

Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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Supply chain issues.

Business owners have faced challenges during these crazy, post-covid, supply chain problems, and Proof Donuts ran into a few delays as well. They were originally hoping to open in mid-March. Two months later, they held a soft opening on Friday, 5/13 (apparently the guys aren't superstitious?), and a general opening on Saturday, 5/14 at 7 am. I stopped by that morning to check it out.

Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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Two restaurants under one roof.

Sparboe and Welter took ownership of Kal's Chicken Coop at 805 24th St W Suite 2 and it's now Proof Donuts in the morning and Kal's menu for lunch and dinner. No, they don't use the same fryers for chicken and donuts (I asked). Although... fried chicken flavored donuts don't sound half bad.

Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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If you're gonna eat a donut, might as well make it a good one.

Donut data is a little hard to track accurately, as many local shops fall into the "bakery" business category instead of just donuts, but IBISWorld.com says that the US donut market is expected to hit around $7.5 billion in 2022 and the industry is expected to grow 3.8 percent this year nationwide. Americans love their donuts, and if you're going to splurge on donuts for breakfast, why not get a quality offering from somewhere like Proof Donuts?

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Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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Get there early.

The owners told me they're ramping up production and currently have the ability to make around 300 - 400 donuts daily. When the donuts are gone for the day, they're gone and they anticipate being sold out by around 10 am. Eventually, customers will be able to pre-order a dozen to-go, but for now, they're limiting each customer to six at a time, with hopes that more people get the chance to try them. Don't forget a coffee. Their baristas use beans from Big Sky Coffee Roasters, a custom blend for Proof named The Notorious.

Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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Want a fun food or coffee job?

They're now hiring for both Proof Donuts and Kal's Chicken Coop. If you're interested, you can find out more on their Facebook page. Catch my interview on what inspired the guys to open a donut shop, and how they came up with the name 'Proof', in my original story below.

Read More: Creative Duo Prepares to Open New Gourmet Donut Shop in Billings |

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