Perch at one of the outdoor tables at the new Fort Collins Donut Company (Foco Doco) and an entertaining phenomenon will likely occur: A person walking by will stop short, sniff the tantalizing aroma wafting toward them from the small shop, and then turn back to approach the walk-up window. It’s amusing to watch and by the time three, maybe four, iterations of this vignette occur, your doughnuts will be ready.

Photo courtesy of Fort Collins Donut Company

That’s because at Foco Doco, located in the Exchange, a mixed-use Old Town Fort Collins market space made from shipping containers, every doughnut is made fresh to order…by a robot. A robot that efficiently and consistently fries the three-to-four bite treats, which are sold in pairs. That way, no matter when the craving hits—7 a.m. or 7 p.m.—delectable loops of dough, crispy on the outside and cakey inside, will be available. Peruse the posted menu, but be sure to also ask about the secret menu before placing your order.

“Our off-menu has been a huge hit,” said Megan Barghols, Chief Donut Officer at Foco Doco. “I like to give [the doughnuts] ridiculous names, like the ‘reverse zebra’ [a chocolate doughnut with stripes of vanilla icing]”.

In addition to such off-menu creations, flavors range from the shop’s classic options, like the FoCo Cream (similar to a Boston Cream, with sweet pastry cream nestled in the hole and a Nutella drizzle over the top), to seasonal treats like the Peach Crisp, which is garnished with fresh Palisade peaches.

Barghols, who was a chef in Portland, Oregon, for a decade before moving to Colorado, says she wanted to bring her personal farm-to-table sensibility to the doughnuts, hence her choice to fry the pastries in local, organic sunflower oil and use Colorado peaches, honey, and more as toppings. Plans are also afoot for spicy and savory options.

“I want people to think about doughnuts differently,” Barghols said. “If you’re looking for a normal, glazed doughnut, we’re not going to be that shop.”

But doughnuts with local flavor made by a robot aren’t the only unique element of Foco Doco: Barghols also uses locally roasted beans from the Coffee Registry for Foco Doco’s hot and iced coffee options, with house-made syrups (think: whiskey-caramel or vanilla bean) on hand to sweeten your cup.

If you go: Fort Collins Donut Company is open from Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 234 N. College Ave, Unit A1, Fort Collins, (970) 689-8978