The Vinyl Donut: Rock ‘n’ Roll And Donut Holes
The Vinyl Donut set up outside.Photo credit: The Vinyl Donut
A batch of fresh Lemonheads.Photo credit: The Vinyl Donut
The Salt-N-Pepa; The Vinyl Donut set up at Hudson Valley Distillers.Photo credit: The Vinyl Donut
It’s almost to be expected that a rock musician would be a vinyl record collector, and that he might even harbor dreams of someday owning a record store. But drummer Carmine Covelli has a lot of hobbies, of which baking is one, so the idea of a mobile record store/donut shop seems both unexpected and par for the course.
Based in Tivoli, NY, The Vinyl Donut is Covelli’s mobile and online store where he sells vinyl, turntables and audio accessories, and his own homemade donuts. The record selection is a mix of punk, indie pop, dance, R&B and funk, and highlights female-led and LGBTQ+ friendly bands. Having performed in bands since he was a teenager, most recently in Kathleen Hanna’s The Julie Ruin and with Bridget Everett and The Tender Moments, Covelli’s music choices benefit from his expert ear. Although the mobile unit, which is 5' by 8', limits the traveling selection to around 50 albums, the online store offers much more.
Along with music, baking has long been a creative release for Covelli, as well as a way to make money. “Growing up, my mom was the main cook and she seemed to really enjoy it. She’d sing a lot while she was cooking, and she’d make up songs about the ingredients. I’d help her out and I was always nearby if she was making cookies… I love sugar.” His sister eventually opened a café and Covelli went to work there, training under a chef. A big part of his job consisted of “preparing your batters and getting up early and busting out all these baked goods for the 7 a.m. opening.”
The Vinyl Donut’s specialties are small (2-1/4 inches), baked not fried donuts with names inspired by bands. The Salt-N-Pepa is a gluten-free chocolate cake donut with chocolate chips, powdered sugar, chocolate glaze, sea salt and cayenne pepper. The Lemonheads is made of lemon-rosemary cake with fresh blueberry icing and a rosemary sprig. Kid Creole and the Coconuts consists of banana-milk cake, coconut icing and shredded sweet coconut. The Cherry Glazerr is made with cherry-vanilla cake, white chocolate chips, vanilla glaze and red sugar topping. ($1 each or 8 for $6). Drinks include tea, seltzer and hot or cold brew coffee ($3).
Covelli modified existing recipes to the specific tastes he was looking for, such as finding a lemon pound cake recipe and turning it into a lemon rosemary donut. “I thought of the flavor first and tried to marry that to a donut.”
Although The Vinyl Donut is new, launched this past summer, Covelli and his partner Adrienne Truscott are no strangers to the Hudson Valley. The couple, who live part time in New York, had been looking for a piece of land in the area that was a.) affordable and b.) came with a pond. It was a fruitless search until a night 10 years ago when Truscott performed with her former duo, the Wau Wau Sisters, at Bard’s Spiegeltent. Afterwards, a friend introduced them to a local farmer, Kenny Migliorelli, who liked the show and told them they should be neighbors.
The property he had in mind, not far from Bard and consisting of 5½ acres including a pond, turned out to be everything they wanted, but would require a ton of elbow grease and vision. “It was terrifying and exciting, and then it was done and we were like ‘what did we just do?’ There was an insane amount of trash on the property, there was poison ivy everywhere, the grass wasn’t cut.”
The house that came with the property was unlivable, and the couple slept at first in a tent, then graduated to a camper to stay in while they cleaned up the land, and eventually added a studio/work space. The original house was torn down, compliments of Mignorelli, who couldn’t stand to look at it any more. When it’s “time to make the donuts,” Covelli uses Mignorelli’s commissary kitchen, right next door.
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