Whether it’s a cake donut, yeast-raised donut, cruller, fritter – and glazed, jellied, dripping in chocolate, or powdered – nothing beats a donut. When it’s a yeast donut it’s practically sheer perfection – fluffy, sweet, soft, and airy-like. Wendy Higgs recognized all of what makes a yeast donut special, but in the back of her mind she just knew that she could take it up a notch, so she gave in to her imagination, topped a beautiful yeast donut with a Bahamian signature dessert sauce, guava duff sauce, and the guava donut which is now known as the Wendy’s guava duff donut came to be.
It was one day, with the encouragement of Atlantis management for staff to let their creative juices flow, that the Atlantis Murray’s Deli cook noticed a can of guavas on a shelf at work, and gave into the little “niggle” that had been in her mind to make Bahamian guava duff sauce, and rather than pair it with the quintessential and much loved guava duff, to slather it on yeast donuts.
“I make guava duff at home, and with that in mind, I just had the thought to put some guava duff sauce on a donut. I did it, I put it out to sell and it sold,” says Wendy. The next day guests lined up to seek out the donut with guava duff sauce. And the rest as they say is history.
From the first day Wendy topped a yeast donut with guava duff sauce approximately two months ago, it has become one of Murray’s Deli’s top selling donuts and Atlantis officials have honored her creativity by naming the donut with guava duff sauce in her honor. It is on the menu as Wendy’s guava donut.
“I feel proud and honored to know they have named the donut after me,” says Wendy.
The Wendy’s guava donut is a whopping four-ounces of fluffy, sweetness, fried to golden perfection before being showered with sweet, sticky guava duff sauce which Wendy takes over the top with guava pieces to punch home the unique, sweet flavor that is the guava.
Wendy’s guava donut holds its own in the Marina Village outpost where they also feature other donuts with Bahamian nods such as peanut brittle, benny cake, papaya, lemon, pineapple, and coconut alongside basic donut staples cinnamon, sugar, vanilla glazed, Boston cream, and an assortment of jelly-filled donuts.
Wendy, who joined the Atlantis family in 2000 in the Seagrapes restaurant as a buffet attendant, worked herself up the ranks to pantry worker and eventually up to cook in the restaurant before she transferred to Murray’s Deli 14 years ago. She believes God put her in Murray’s Deli for a reason with the addition of the donut station in May, which opened the door for her to have an actual donut named after her.
Wendy is a part of a team that produces thousands of donuts weekly – approximately 560 old-fashioned donuts and 1,140 yeast donuts alone which now includes a couple dozen of Wendy’s guava donuts. Each day they start out with seven dozen old-fashioned donuts, and 10 dozen yeast donuts, with donuts churned out according to the demand.
Murray’s Deli also provides donuts to outlets around the Atlantis property – Plato’s gets six dozen old-fashioned donuts; Sun & Ice ice cream parlor gets two dozen old-fashioned; Poseidon’s Table gets 12 dozen old-fashioned
Wendy’s most creative donut concoction to date she says would have to be the Wendy’s guava donut. And she loves to enjoy her donut with a cup of tea.
The cook who comes by her culinary experience on the job, says she developed her love for cooking from her mother, Edna Forbes, who encouraged her daughter to work alongside her in the kitchen from a young age.
“We would make corned beef and white rice, steamed chicken and other Bahamian dishes. I would peel sweet potatoes and cassava, peel and strain guavas for my grandmother, Ethlyn Duncombe, (deceased) when she baked sweet potato bread, cassava bread and duff.”
She did not grow up making donuts, but finds donut making akin to making bread, which she said makes it easy for her to do.
When not making the Wendy’s guava donut, or any of the other donuts, Wendy also works the Murray’s Deli grab and go counter and the range, where she can be found preparing omelets, sandwiches, and salads, and sometimes even expediting.