Four years ago, Michael Roslan had a successful career as a tattoo artist and body piercer. But that changed after a motorcycle accident "moved" his brain, which prevented him working in that field.
“I was stuck at home figuring out what to do next,” he said. “I started making doughnuts.”
Roslan soon began to sell his doughnuts at local farmers' markets, and attracted quite a following, including Rodney Henry, the founder of Dangerously Delicious Pies, who encouraged Roslan to pursue making doughnuts full time.
Fast-forward to years of Roslan perfecting his craft on the farmers' market circuit, and Roslan now sells his addictive treats at his shop, Diablo Doughnuts in Fells Point. He operates his business at 717 S. Broadway location by day. It also operates as Hot Tomatoes, a separately owned pizza shop, at night.
"The owner of Hot Tomatoes said that they were closed at night, so it made perfect sense to be open during the day," Roslan said. "Enough people were liking it. There was a lot of trial and error. We have what we like."
Now customers are waiting for the doors to open at 5:30 a.m. to get their hands on Roslan’s creations, which include popular options such as maple bacon, cinnamon toast crunch, cookies and cream, apple cobbler and cherry cheesecake. Doughnuts are $2.50 each; $15 for a half dozen and $25 for a dozen. Delivery is available for orders of a dozen or more. Roslan estimates that he makes about 26 dozen doughnuts a day.
"The doughnuts are super fresh," said Roslan's business partner Emilie Robertson. "We continue to make them throughout the day."
For Roslan, operating his business in Fells Point is of particular importance.
“I grew up in this neighborhood,” he said as he dipped a freshly fried doughnut in a glaze and then spooned lemon curd on top for his famous – and his personal favorite — blackberry lemon curd doughnut. “I spent most of my childhood years around here.”
Robertson added, "He wanted to open in the neighborhood he came from. We're proud Baltimore."
Roslan chose Diablo Doughnuts because diablo means “to be tempted or tempter."
“It’s a great name,” he said. “My doughnuts tempt people.”