This Shore Hotspot Custom-Makes Doughnuts in Front of You

There are thousands of doughnut combinations available at the Fractured Prune in Ocean City, North Wildwood and Sea Isle.

Doughnut from the Fractured Prune of NJ
Dozens of glazes, toppings and fillings are on the menu at the Fractured Prune. Photo courtesy of the Fractured Prune of NJ

The Jersey Shore has a sweet tooth, from classic saltwater taffy and custard to today’s crave-worthy bakery creations.

These days, the Shore caters to doughnut aficionados. One family-run shop, the Fractured Prune, has grown to three locations since opening in 2011, and has become a favorite along the way. You choose your glaze, topping and (optional) filling. Then, your doughnut is made right in front of you in just a couple of minutes.

We got the hole story from Fractured Prune founders Ken and Joanne Jenkins.

First: How can you custom-make a doughnut so fast?
Joanne: Once a doughnut is ordered, the doughnut robot fries the dough and…

Did you say doughnut robot?
Joanne: (laughs) Yes. It’s a cool machine. Gets it right every time. We actually have two in each of our three shops, which cuts customers’ wait. A doughnut engineer …

Ken: … an employee

Joanne: … grabs the doughnut and finishes it with glaze, filling in the hole and topping. It’s puffy, warm and covered with delicious stuff.

Ken: Sometimes the doughnut doesn’t even make it out the door.

How many options are there for custom-made doughnuts?
Ken: On our menu, we have a few dozen suggestions for our combinations of glaze and topping. The Peppermint Patty doughnut has mint glaze and a topping of mini chocolate chips.

Joanne: The S’mores has marshmallow glaze and a topping of chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers.

Ken: The Lumberjack doughnut is really popular. Maple glaze with real bacon bits and cinnamon sugar.

But customers can create their own combinations?
Ken: Absolutely! The number of possible combos is well into the thousands. There are so many choices. We have 22 glazes. They’re made from fresh fruit flavors or real stuff like peanut butter, mint, caramel. All fresh, not bottled or artificially flavored.

Joanne: Then we have 21 toppings. All kinds of sprinkles, coconut, peanuts, chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, cinnamon streusel, and, of course, the bacon.

Ken: And for fillings, we have four or five every day including Bavarian cream, white cream, jelly apple, plus seasonal specials. We announce anything new or limited on Facebook.

The Jenkins family (from left) Stephanie, Patrick, Andrew, Joanne and Ken of the Fractured Prune

The Jenkins family (from left) Stephanie, Patrick, Andrew, Joanne and Ken. Photo courtesy of the Fractured Prune of NJ

Speaking of seasonal, what’s your shops’ schedule?
Ken: We’re open seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Our Ocean City location stays open on weekends through Columbus Day [Monday, October 9]. In spring, we reopen on Easter weekend.

What do you do on the off-season?
Joanne: Doughnut research and doughnut travel! We check out the doughnut scene in-depth.

Ken: We’ve taken doughnut tours on foot or on bikes, our own or organized tours, all over the Northeast and Florida. And we’ve been to probably hundreds of New Jersey doughnut shops.

How did your owning three Fractured Prune shops come to be?
Ken: In 2011, we just wanted to do something different. I had a desk job in reinsurance.

Joanne: I was working as a Registered Nurse. I’d gotten my R.N. degree when our four kids were finally all in school. I loved nursing but was ready for a new challenge.

Ken: We wanted to find something we could all do together, and that the kids could work in, maybe stay with, if they chose to.

Joanne: I was passionate about baking, and so we were thinking along those lines.

Ken: Doughnuts had proven they weren’t just a fad. And when we found out that we could make them fresh for every customer, our concept was born.

Why did you choose to open at the Shore?
Ken: We’re both from the suburbs of Philly. …We both grew up going down the Shore. It’s a place we had wonderful memories of. Whether you’re visiting the Shore or live there, it’s just a really fun environment. People feel good being there, which makes it a great place to run a dessert business.

Have you expanded your offerings from doughnuts?
Ken: We now serve a whole coffee menu and breakfast sandwiches and wraps.

What’s your most creative, even outrageous, sandwich?
Ken: Hands down, our signature sandwich, the Prunewich.

Joanne: Egg, cheese and your choice of sausage, bacon or pork roll.

That sounds pretty reasonable.
Ken: … served on a hot French toast doughnut.

Ken: Seriously. And I want to say that, just like our doughnuts, our sandwiches and wraps are made from top-notch ingredients and served on excellent breads, including multigrain, real bagels, and whole flour tortillas. It’s very good stuff.

Joanne: And the coffee is strong but not bitter, as good as you’d make at home. We now have a specialty in cold-brew coffee, which steeps for 18 hours and is served iced. It’s incredibly refreshing.

Please tell me why you’re open from 7 in the morning till 1 in the afternoon.
Ken: We learned that Shore people do their food-buying and errands in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon.

Joanne: Except us. A lot of work goes into running these shops. Our work days are nine hours long. For one thing, our popular apparel and accessory line takes time to plan, produce and manage.

Ken: All our merch is unique, including our mug, which is made with a hole in the middle. …At the shops, we do a lot of time-consuming quality control. Which means tasting everything to make sure it’s perfect.

Joanne: Thank goodness for pickleball.

Mug from the Fractured Prune of NJ

The Fractured Prune sells fun merch like this mug with a hole in it. Photo courtesy of the Fractured Prune of NJ

You said your aim was to create a family business that your four children could join. How has that worked out?
Ken: Three of them are deeply involved!

Joanne: Stephanie, who’s also a nurse, runs our North Wildwood boardwalk location. Andrew, a CPA, runs Sea Isle and does a lot of our social media.

Ken: Patrick, our youngest, who’s a student at Ryder, runs Ocean City with me and posts on TikTok.

Joanne: Jonathan has a full-time career as a mechanical engineer, but helps us out on holiday weekends.

I keep hearing “family.” You’re a family and so are many of your customers. How does that feel?
Joanne: Having a family business is so fulfilling. We have a common goal and that has brought us together. Our staff has become our extended family, and so have many of our regular customers.

Ken: We Jenkinses not only work together, but we all live in our Ocean City house during the season. And we’re still talking.

The Fractured Prune Ocean City: 1225 Asbury Avenue, 609-399-0482; North Wildwood: 2102 Boardwalk, 609-425-5791; Sea Isle: 5004 Landis Avenue, 609-425-9352

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