1235 Donuts

1235 Donuts: A batch of donuts being served in a golden tray.

It’s official: the humble doughnut (or donut for the Americans among us) is back. Leading the battle charge are London based 1235 Donuts, a small venture offering up home made scrumptious balls of doughy goodness every Sunday. After only trading for a few months they’ve quickly become one of the most popular doughnut options in town, selling until they quite literally run out. Sitting behind the flower stalls of  Columbia market, you’ll find Molly selling her fare behind the yellow door of number 124 – we caught up with her to chat about all things donut.


1235 Donuts: Donuts on a table in small cardboard trays.

1235 Donuts: Two donuts on a china plate decorated with pink roses.

Question: First and foremost, why Donuts?

Firstly, because we love donuts and firmly believe that if you love your product/what you do it will translate to your audience! (My husband — and 1235 Donuts Chef — Brad McDonald, claims to have eaten a donut for breakfast every morning growing up in Mississippi, and I don’t doubt it!) Secondly, because no one else on Columbia Road is making donuts…there was a gap in the market that we were happy to fill!

Question: Introduce us to the 1235 Donut-making team:

The team is my husband, Brad McDonald, who is the chef of 1235 and of The Lockhart restaurant in Marylebone, and me! I work FOH at The Lockhart and front 1235 as well. And most importantly our two tiny ‘quality control’ experts, Maren (almost 3years old) and Magnus (1.5 year old), our daughter and son. We are literally a mom and pop shop.

Question: The name is quite unusual, ‘1235 Donuts’, where does this come from?

When we were thinking about starting 1235 Donuts, our little girl, Maren, would count 1,2,3,5…never 4. And when  asked how many donuts would she like 5 was always the answer…perhaps the number of fingers she could hold up!

Question: You’re based on Columbia Market every Sunday until you sell out. How many donuts do you make on average each week and when do you usually find the last ones vanishing (so we know how to schedule our visit!)?

The number of donuts varies…but we are typically open 10am-1:30(ish). I try to keep people apprised of opening hours, flavours, etc via Twitter and Instagram. Hate for people to make the trip and find a closed door!

Question: How long does it take you to make each batch?

Brad sets his alarm for 4:30am on Sundays, runs to The Lockhart(where he does production), and is back by 10am to open the door!

Question: Do you have a favourite flavour donut at the moment?

I am obsessed with our coffee cream donut. It combines two of favourite treats…coffee and donuts. Amazing.

Question: You’re being credited with leading the Donut renaissance that’s happening at the moment, why do you think Donuts have become so popular again after leaving the street food scene for a while?

We have been so pleased at the kind reception we’ve received with 1235 Donuts. We honestly started this pop-up on a lark…We love the Columbia Road flower market and wanted to be apart of the Sunday morning buzz. As Americans, donuts have always been in the scene. We make them because we love them, not because we were tracking food trends, but it’s really great there’s a resurgence of quality donuts. Donuts are such a happy treat!

Question: You’ve not been trading for very long but where do you see 1235 Donuts in a year’s time?

We would love to grow 1235 Donuts but don’t have any concrete plans to report at this time.

Question: Any plans to expand past donuts?

Brad and I have always said that a bakery is our retirement plan. Though not a pastry chef, per se, Brad loves to bake…the bread at The Lockhart is all made in-house and is off the hook! 😉


Interview by Olivia Cooley. Images courtesy of 1235 Donuts.

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert