THE FOODIE FILES: Nom Nom means doughnuts

By on June 16, 2015

New business to whip up doughy delights from a food truck near you

Melissa Mattson is the doughnut obsessed owner of Nom Nom Doughnuts. Look for her toothsome creations around the valley this summer. (Photo: Deva Chapman)

Melissa Mattson is the doughnut obsessed owner of Nom Nom Doughnuts. Look for her toothsome creations around the valley this summer. (Photo: Deva Chapman)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – For me, doughnuts are a nostalgic treat. Every Sunday growing up, my dad would take me to do “rounds” with him at the local hospital right after church. If I waited patiently for what seemed like hours while he checked on his patients, we would stop at the local doughnut shop on the way home. I’d carefully deliberate — for what probably seemed like hours to my dad — over the bear claw, the long john, the chocolate old fashioned and the glazed with sprinkles.

With no real doughnut shop in Jackson, I’ve often lamented that my kids have grown up thinking doughnuts come from the grocery store. Doughnut enthusiasts will be happy to learn that Nom Nom Doughnuts is here.

I first found Nom Nom at a backyard party a few weeks ago when I spotted a crowd of children in a puff of powdered sugar devouring a plate of beignets. I followed that cloud straight to the Nom Nom Doughnut Airstream trailer, a commercial kitchen on wheels, and found Melissa Mattson cranking out doughnuts the old-fashioned way.

I caught up with Mattson as she was dashing to Portland, Ore., to do some doughnut research. I had a hundred questions for our newest local food entrepreneur, but here I will keep it to seven.

Planet Jackson Hole: What inspired you to open up a doughnut shop in Jackson Hole?

Melissa Mattson: I have always dreamed of owning my own business and I knew it would be food oriented. In Jackson, there is nowhere to grab a made-from-scratch doughnut. Although this is not the easiest place for entrepreneurs on a budget, I knew that with some creative thinking I could work my way around this. Honestly, I don’t need a huge shop to make magical doughnuts.

PJH: How many types of doughnuts do you make? Do you have a favorite?

Mattson: As of right now, my menu consists of 11 doughnuts. Eight of these will always be on the menu, and the other three will be a rotation of flavors and flavor combinations. I think my personal favorite is the caramel apple fritter; it is made with my made-from-scratch filling and just ever so tasty, but I have always been partial to fritters.

PJH: Is it doughnut or donut?

Mattson: This is a big debate among grammarists. I personally dough-not care which way it is spelled. However, “doughnut” does seem ever so slightly more elegant and traditional.

PJH: First there was the cronut, then the cruffin, dangle, dookie, pake and the hannoli. Gather serves the beignonut (I got to name that one). What do you think of all these hybrid pastries? Are you a doughnut purist or do you dabble in cross-pollination?

Mattson: I am all for the hybridization of doughnuts. True, no need to reinvent the wheel, but why not take those wheels off and make a hover car? Just because something is good does not mean it cannot be made better. I look forward to making some Frankendoughnuts of my own. Keep an eye out for the doughnut ice cream sandwiches and even doughnut burgers this summer.

PJH: Tell me about your Airstream doughnut kitchen/food truck. What did you do to turn it into Nom Nom? Can I have a doughnut making party in it?

Mattson: Nom Nom was created with literal blood, sweat and tears (from me of course). I am very blessed to have a wonderful boyfriend, Kevin Donaghy, who generously gave his time to help me with all the things I just simply didn’t know how or could not do. Everything in the trailer is custom made, which was no easy project due to the pure curved and unusual shape of the Airstream. New floors, paint, lights, plumbing, electrical — you name it and it’s been done —  and to commercial kitchen standards as well. One of the biggest challenges was renovating the exterior. I have probably put more than 120 hours into it. Creating something such as this from your bare hands is a pretty empowering feeling. And yes, doughnut making parties and how-to classes are in the future.

PJH: Where can we get your doughnuts?

Mattson: Up to this point, I have just been available for special events and catering. However, within the next couple of weeks, I will be officially starting my doughnut delivery service, and you will be able to find Nom Nom freshly made from scratch doughnuts daily. I will list all the locations on my website map. My business license does not allow me to sell doughnuts straight from my trailer, but if you ever see me in there cooking, feel free to stop and get a free doughnut.

Find me at the Farmers Market on the Town Square on Saturdays, the People’s Market on Wednesdays, both Art Fairs and at some of the Jackson Hole Live summer concert series events. I am also always available for catering and special events. A list of these services can be found at NomNomDoughnuts.com.

PJH: What does Nom Nom mean?

Mattson: I am actually surprised at how often I get asked what Nom Nom means. I guess its usage has not made its way out to Wyoming yet. I think the Oxford English Dictionary puts it best though, “Used to express pleasure at eating, or at the prospect of eating, delicious food.” It’s also the sound that Cookie Monster makes when getting down on some cookies, “Om nom nom!” 

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About Annie Fenn, MD

After delivering babies and practicing gynecology for 20 years in Jackson, Annie traded her life as a doctor to pursue her other passion: writing about food, health, sustainability and the local food scene. Follow her snippets of mountain life, with recipes, at www.jacksonholefoodie.com and on Instagram @jacksonholefoodie.

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