Donuts & Coffee in Honour of Mom!

Tyrone Sawyer, one of the owners of Carrie’s Donuts, points to the artisan bakery and coffee shop’s menu items.

By Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)

Once in a while, in the heart of over-the-hill, arises a new business which proves someone’s confidence in the area and its people.

It occupies space that was once a shipping container. Pretty in blue with a pop of pink, this gem caught my attention as I was driving south long Miami Street, about to pass E. P. Roberts Primary School. What stood out were the colour and life-size donut atop the business. I immediately knew I had to find out more.

Carries Donuts is the name. It’s an artisan bakery and coffee shop in the Englerston area.

The pink pops against the blue of what used to be a shipping trailer.

It’s certainly a treat that lights up the area and once you see it, you would definitely take a second look, feeling compelled to stop by. Carrie’s serves up sweet and savory treats, offering guava, pineapple and banana-infused fresh doughy donuts, cinnamon rolls, a Columbian Hazelnut roast coffee, hot chocolate, kolaches, breakfast burritos and even guava barbecue chicken and pork.

Since opening in December 2020, it took a while for people to buy into the business, but once they did, customers started coming from as near as Washington Street and Lincoln Boulevard, and as far away as Carmichael Road and Coral Harbour. And what makes Carrie’s donuts different is the fact their donuts are baked as opposed to fried.

Carrie’s Donuts are baked as opposed to the traditional fried donuts you would normally find elsewhere.
Carrie’s Donuts has expanded to now offer guava barbecue chicken and pork, which have been a big hit!

Carrie is short for Caroline. She passed away 18 years ago and was mother to Nefitieri Moncur (New York), Joshua Sawyer (Dallas), Anwar Sawyer (Germany) and Tyrone Sawyer, who returned to The Bahamas in 2019 after residing in Atlanta for 16 years. He initially moved home to start a different business venture, but due to the covid-19 pandemic, that is on hold. Meantime, together, the family has found a way to honour their mother. She is certainly the pulse of the business. In fact, the business is not far from where she grew up through Seventh Street, The Grove. and where an aunt currently lives on Balfour Avenue.

“This is home base,” said Tyrone.

“We have always been a tight-knit family, but this has brought us even closer. Our mother was an amazing lady. That same energy she left behind, we just want to pay it forward. We take time to talk to the kids. We show the kids what can be done! When school is in, we always have a line after school. We can’t wait for school to reopen. It creates a whole vibe for the neighbourhood,” he added.

Caroline, affectionately called Carrie, is the late mother of the Sawyer children. One way of honouring her memory is the naming of the business after her and exhibiting her charisma.

A post from the Facebook page of Carrie’s Donuts.

Tyrone’s sister, Nefitieri, manages the company’s social media pages and because of her astuteness in this area, even tourists visit the coffee shop, which is opened Mondays through Saturdays, 7 am to 4 pm.

“Once I see the SD vehicle, I know they’re about to stop,” said Tyrone.

“We offer a Columbian Hazelnut roast coffee that’s an authentic coffee. We’re small; we’re not Starbucks. We don’t have the same offerings, but we have a loyal customer base. Initially, we were just a bakery, but we expanded because of the taste preferences of the people in the neighbourhood. They wanted more,” he added.

Tourists visit the artisan bakery and coffee shop too – thanks to the social media prowess of Tyrone’s sister, Nefitieri, who resides in New York. The tourists are shown here with Tyrone (far right) and his wife, Jemima.

Photo Courtesy: Carrie’s Donuts, FB

In fact, Tyrone said not everyone was fond of the idea of opening an artisan bakery and coffee shop in the over the hill area.

“People called us ‘Crazy’ for it. Crazy because of when we started – during a pandemic. Others wanted us to sell tuna and grits, but within a 200 ft radius from us are five others selling tuna and grits,” said Tyrone.

“My wife, Jemima and I fell in love with donuts while in Dallas. On every corner were pastry and bakery shops in old neighbourhoods. There were little donut shops. For Carrie’s, people are stopping by just to get coffee in the mornings. It’s one of our best sellers,” said Tyrone.

Additionally, there is no doubt that 2020 was a disruptive year. While COVID-19 has been ferocious in its pursuit to level new businesses – and some have succumbed to its vicious attacks – amazingly, Carrie’s Donuts has not only popped up, but is thriving with its five employees.

Ready to serve you!

What is even more exciting is that since people have been tasting the guava barbecue on the chicken and pork, the Sawyers have been approached by other companies about potential partnerships. Yes, doors are opening during the pandemic!

“We have a lot of people who used to live in Englerston, but they come to support. It’s more about people coming because once you have a good product, people smiling, a system of regular customers, the profit will come. For us, it’s not about the money. We’re not just here to take your money; we want to give back,”(Meanwhile), we want to create something that will last. It’s a community,” concluded Tyrone

4 thoughts on “Donuts & Coffee in Honour of Mom!

  1. A heart-warming story of love, resilience, creativity and community. Great to honor a loved one. Each time the name Carrie is called, I’m certain their are fond and precious memories.
    Thanks for honoring the heroes and heroines of “Over da Hill”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Nicky! I feel this blog is a special assignment. No one else is focusing on people over the hill in this way. It’s truly my small way of giving back to this community. Thanks for stopping by and reading!


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