New Vegan Donut Business Opens Inside Alexandria’s Popular Dairy Godmother Ice Cream Shop

'Just Fine Donuts' Opens at National Donut Day, June 4!

Allen Smith and Russell Gravatt in front of their new Just Fine Donut creations (photo by Kelli Goel)
Allen Smith and Russell Gravatt in front of their new Just Fine Donut creations (photo by Kelli Goel)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Debuting on National Donut Day, Just Fine Donuts opens June 4, 2021, and will be making specialty handmade vegan donuts.  “There is no dairy, and you will not believe how good they are and how beautiful they are.  It’s an amazing thing,” says owner Russell Gravatt.

Gravatt, owner of The Dairy Godmother, 2310 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, recently decided he wanted to start a donut making business.  His long-time friend, Allen Smith, loved the idea and wanted to join him.  Gravatt and Smith began their careers working together in Texas and have worked in the restaurant business on and off with one another for four decades.  Neither are new to Del Ray.  Gravatt bought The Dairy Godmother in 2017 (it’s celebrating its 20th year) and Smith most recently owned the Asian fusion bar, Kaizen.

A tray full of donut samples (photo by Russell Gravatt)The two have learned donut making from their friend, Shawn Peterson and his wife, Nicole Dao, who own Donut Run in Takoma Park, Md.  Everything about the donuts will be vegan and according to Gravatt, the donuts taste better when they’re made this way.  All of the ingredients are clean, there’s no saturated fat, nor cholesterol.  Half of the donuts they sell with be cake donuts and the other half will be yeast donuts, with about 8-9 varieties available.  Some flavors include glazed, mango coconut, strawberry glazed and chocolate.

Just Fine was the name of the sailboat that Gravatt’s Dad and godfather built in the late 1950’s.  When his older brother was little and was asked how he was doing or what does he think about something, his answer was always, “just fine”. Inseparable from his brother, when Gravatt came along, he answered the same.  Even to this day, he says, “we still answer ‘just fine’ to everything. It will come out of my mouth 4-5 times a day and it can mean anything.  It takes you awhile to know me to know whether ‘just fine’ means to leave me alone, I’m ‘just fine’ or no, I’m having a great day, it’s ‘just fine.’” His brother has the transom of the sailboat, now 60 years old, hanging in his woodworking shop in Texas.  His dad has since passed away, but his godfather is 96 years old, and he cannot wait to show him his new logo and business, Just Fine Donuts.

Original Transom from the sailboat Just Fine where the new donut shop gets its name (photo provided by Russell Gravatt)
Original Transom from the sailboat Just Fine where the new donut shop gets its name (photo provided by Russell Gravatt)

In 2009, President Obama and his daughters visited The Dairy Godmother, so it seemed to be appropriate to ask if there may be another presidential visit in the future.  Gravatt’s said, “I’d love to have Biden.” Or he thinks it would be wonderful if Jill Biden would stop by since she teaches at Northern Virginia Community College.

Not all of The Dairy Godmother’s ice creams and custards are vegan, but he does offer some delicious coconut-based vegan flavors, such as mango coconut and Dutch chocolate, which tastes like an amazing Mounds Chocolate bar.

Alexandria Living Legend Pat Miller enjoys a fresh donut (photo by Kelli Goel)
Alexandria Living Legend Pat Miller enjoys a fresh donut (photo by Kelli Goel)

“Anybody who comes through the front door is generally happy when they’re coming to get ice cream, custard or cookies and now donuts.  That’s kind of the fun thing about it,” Gravatts says about his shop.

Just Fine Donuts will be made fresh daily at 9:00 am Tuesday through Sunday and available until they are sold out.  Custard is available Sunday-Tuesday, Noon-8:00pm and Wednesday-Saturday, Noon-9:00pm.

Dairy Godmother is located at 2310 Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.

OTHER NEWS: Taste of Del Ray Starts June 4! Bob & Edith’s Diner Coming to Old Town

2 COMMENTS

Comments are closed.