Mochi Donuts — The gluten-free option to satisfy your sweet tooth

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PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY ASHLEY KICKLITER / THE WELL

By Hannah Lester
hlester@opelikaobserver.com

Most everybody loves a good donut. Lately, everyone is talking about the free donuts you get by showing a vaccination card at Krispy Kreme. But what if you eat gluten free? Is there any way to enjoy a good donut without spending a lot of time making them yourself?

Rebecca Shephard makes mochi donuts and sells them inside The Well, which is a downtown Opelika business.

“It’s basically an Asian-traditional kind of donuts, which is a gluten free product,” Shephard said. “And instead of frying it, I bake it.”

These donuts may catch your eye — when completed, they are bright colors like green and purple. And each color is a different flavor. The purple is tuber (which is a yam), green is matcha, but there is also strawberry, coffee and white chocolate with almond.

Shephard began making the donuts recently as a way to create a side business, she said, although, she is also from Asia.

“So I was like, ‘why don’t we try something different that Alabama doesn’t have yet,’” she said.

Shephard creates the donuts as needed for The Well. The Well, as described by one of the owners Allison Kovak, is almost like an incubator for new businesses.

There are 10 to 15 businesses located inside The Well, and the hope is that one day each might be able to have its own brick-and-mortar store, Kovak said.

Shephard said she has been praying for the opportunity for a food truck to sell her donuts in. She is also scheduled to sell the product at the farmer’s market in Columbus this summer.

“Who knows, I might open a new small bakery,” she said.

Something unique about The Well: each of these businesses is women-created or women-run, just like Shephard and her mochi donuts. There is also a focus on healthy products, too.

“They do believe in healthy living and most of their products are organic and it’s organically sourced,” Shephard said. “… I can offer healthy kind of desserts [for those who are gluten free].”

The Well is located at 824 Ave. A in Opelika and is open:

Monday:  2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Tuesdays – Thursday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This is the fifth article in the series on the different businesses that are located inside The Well.

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