For two years, self-taught baker Pamela Vuong built a loyal following with her pop-up The Flour Box, serving decadent brioche doughnuts that drew long lines. Now, after a stressful 2020 constructing a bakery during a pandemic, the first fixed location for the dessert shop opens for business this week in Hillman City. A successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $90,000, helped Vuong reach the finish line.
The Flour Box’s initial offerings — which diners can preorder starting at 10 a.m. Monday — will be limited, at first. On the current menu are Vuong’s popular creme brulee doughnuts, everything bagel doughnuts filled with whipped chive cream cheese, cinnamon rolls, and two rotating doughnut flavors. Right now, the latter varieties are sweet corn (a favorite of Vuong’s sister) and kheer, a lightly fragrant cardamom rice pudding with pistachios (which a fan had suggested).
Vuong also plans to whip up some other pastries at the new shop, including fried-to-order beignets, pavlova, sweet and savory toasts, many inspired by her favorite childhood memories. The first cake on the menu will be a 10-layer milk and honey concoction.
On the beverage side, there will be lattes, americanos, drip coffee, and cold brew from acclaimed local roaster Anchorhead Coffee. In the near future, Vuong says she’ll add specialty drinks such as Anchorhead’s famed Shy Bear Fog (Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong tea with oat milk and burnt honey).
Since Vuong is working on her own right now, The Flour Box won’t have walk-in or dine-in service to start. But the space — which formerly housed roast chicken favorite Big Chickie — has been revamped with the intention of being a hangout spot in the future. There are vintage arm chairs and couches sitting in a light-filled lounge, crystal chandeliers hanging from a freshly-stained wood-beamed ceiling, and a handmade coffee table. Vuong and her family did all the remodeling themselves.
Though a previous effort to land a permanent location fell through in 2018, this location seems like a good match for The Flour Box, since Vuong grew up in South Seattle and Big Chickie provided a smooth transition after it closed last year.
Curbside pickups will be Thursday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a few outside picnic tables available at the outset for those who can’t wait to get home before digging into their doughnuts. Diners can keep an eye on the official Instagram page for updates.