Aaron Sailer is a mad scientist when it comes to making memorable donuts.
However, the Sioux Cityan has yet to master a donut suggested by his mother-in-law Connie Saunders.
"I'd love to see Aaron make a peanut butter and jelly donut," Saunders said. "After all, everybody loves peanut butter and jelly."
But Sailer will not sell any donuts unless the recipe's been perfected.
"It has to look good and taste good before it becomes a Sprinkles donut," he said.
That's been the guiding principle of Sailer's ever since he opened Sprinkles Donut & Coffee Shop, with his wife Erica, last May.
Located in the same building as Sugar Shack Bakery, Sprinkles Donuts & Coffee Shop sells gourmet donuts and specialty Caturra Coffee at 700 Jennings St.
Even if Sailer hasn't quite perfected his PB&J donut, there is still plenty to choose from at Sprinkles.
Want to relive your childhood memories with a favorite breakfast cereal? Sprinkles has donuts topped with Cookie Crisps, Lucky Charms and, even, Fruity Pebbles.
"The Fruity Pebbles one is especially eye-catching," Sailer said.
Well, that's true. But so are the donuts topped with M&Ms, Reese's Pieces and the crushed candy shards of Butterfinger chocolate bar.
Hmm, donuts drizzled with sugary candy. Now, how can you possible top that?
With bacon, of course.
Sailer's maple bacon donut isn't just Sprinkles' most popular item, it is also the bakery's most critically-acclaimed.
"Our maple bacon donut was both the People's Choice award winner as well as the Judge's Choice at (Siouxland Habitat for Humanity's) BaconFest (held Oct. 14 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Battery Park on Oct. 14)," Sailer said. "It was a great honor for us."
It was also totally unexpected since Sailer is a relative newcomer to the art of making donuts.
"Originally, Erica and I had an Eat a Buncha Nuts kiosk at the Southern Hills Mall during the Christmas season," he explained. "But we wanted a year-round business and roasted nuts, no matter how delicious they were, wouldn't be viable for us."
That's why Sailer invested in a donut-making machine.
"I started with mini-donut before advancing to full-sized ones," he recalled.
By the time Sailer moved next door to Sugar Shack Bakery, he had added fresh-roasted coffee to his menu.
"Even though we're in the same building, there isn't a connection between Sugar Shack and Sprinkles," he said. "Over time, many of the Sugar Shack customers became our customers and vice-versa."
Despite that, Sailer admitted to harboring a few deep, dark secrets.
His wife and business partner Erica never drinks coffee. And shockingly enough, Sailer isn't much of a donut eater.
"I'll eat donuts to sample for taste," he allowed. "In the morning, I'd prefer a meaty sausage biscuit to something sweet."
This might prove to be a future Sprinkles experiment.
"Our maple bacon donut paired something sweet with something salty," Sailer reasoned. "Maybe I'll create something that will have the meatiness of a sausage, only in the form of a donut."
That's sounds like a winning idea to us. It also seems like a winning idea for Saunders as well.
"But I want Aaron to start working on a recipe for a PB&J donut before that," she said.