Tasty Donuts expands with new gelato shop in Ooltewah

Photo by Dave Flessner / The Tasty Donuts shop at Cambridge Square in Ooltewah
Photo by Dave Flessner / The Tasty Donuts shop at Cambridge Square in Ooltewah

The growing Tasty Donuts chain is adding another sweetener to its business mix.

The 12-year-old doughnut retailer is opening a gelato shop across the street from one of its outlets at the Cambridge Square in Ooltewah next month.

The new 1,800 square foot gelato maker and retail store, to be known Tasty Scoops & Sweets, is scheduled to open by mid May in the space formerly occupied by Mixed Up Cup which closed in December after operating for more than six years.

Tony McInnis started Tasty Daylight Donuts in 2009 and currently operates two doughnut shops in Chattanooga and another in Canton, Georgia. McInnis said he is planning a similar homemade and diverse product mix for his gelato that he has used in the doughnut business over the past decade.

"When you walk into one of our Tasty Donuts and you see our case displaying the crazy variety of doughnuts that are available, we want to take that same approach to gelato," he said. "We'll make everything from scratch and try to offer almost anything the customer wants."

McInnis and his staff have been training in Chicago with Italian experts on making gelato, which contains less milkfat, is served at a warmer temperature and has a texture that is denser and softer than ice cream as a result of churning less air into the mix while it's freezing.

photo Staff photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press / Tony McInnis, owner of Tasty Donuts.

Tasty Donuts opened in Cambridge Square in 2018 and McInnis said the Ooltewah retail and office complex with its pedestrian-friendly layout is well suited for his latest venture.

"Cambridge Square is a destination place for a lot of folks, and not just for us, and it should be a great location to try this out," McInnis said.

If successful, McInnis envisions adding gelato to the growing Tasty Donuts chain which he also hopes to grow in both Chattanooga and other cities. Doughnuts sell best during the winter months while gelato, like ice cream, sells the most during warm weather.

Tasty Donuts is planning on adding another outlet in Hixson and eventually McInnis said he would like to have at last five stores in Chattanooga along with others in other Southern towns.

McInnis said just as his homemade doughnuts are different from doughnut-shop rivals like Krispe Kreme and Dunkin', he says Tasty Scoops & Sweets will be different than other ice cream or gelato stores with more varieties and unique flavors.

"Since opening, Tony and his team have made thousands of Cambridge Square patrons very happy," said Jim Cheney who oversees marketing at Cambridge Square. "When we had an opportunity for another dessert option, we called him first. He has an exceptional brand and a whole lot of creative vision and we are confident that Tasty Scoops & Sweets will be a huge hit."

While still in the early stage in terms of the full menu range and prices, McInnis said Tasty Scoops & Treats will offer a variety of small and large size gelato offerings and toppings, along with traditional ice creams, splits, sundaes, donut ice cream sandwiches, and milkshakes and homemade waffle cones and cups. In addition, Tasty Scoops & Treats will offer grab-n-go candies and snacks such as pralines, fudges, macaroons, nuts and fruits.

"The idea of Scoops and Sweets has been floated around for a number of years, driven primarily by my wife and partner, Kathy McInnis, our 'Donut Queen,'" he said. "Family traditions and a quick flip through old New Orleans recipes created a list of sweets that are both handcrafted and delicious."

Contact Dave Flessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

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