WESLEY CHAPEL — In high school, Dana Morris flew to France as an exchange student, and fell in love.
That is, "with European pastries, and bakeries, and coffee," she said.
It became the basis for her new donut shop, Buttermilk Provisions.
Morris took culinary courses in France but studied accounting instead in college and worked after that as an accountant for a private club that had a pastry chef.
She didn't like the accounting, but she did like to observe the pastry chef, who taught her new skills and let her try them in the kitchen.
Morris got a new gig for the same company as an event planner but made a decision. Someday, she would open a shop so she could sell baked goods that she would make herself.
"I imagined it every day for most of my life," said Morris, 39. "We talked about it for 15 years."
Last week, she finally opened a shop: Buttermilk Provisions, which sells donuts that Morris bakes from fresh ingredients and infuses with unique flavors.
In Buttermilk Provisions' first week, the donut variety included cinnamon sugar, lemon glazed and earl gray lavender blueberry donuts, made with tea, plus blueberries that Morris picked at a local farm.
She also picked local peaches before the shop's opening, which she used to make a peach jam for the shop's yogurt parfait. It is topped with homemade granola.
"We don't eat any processed ingredients in my house and I wanted to bring that to other people," Morris said. And "I knew I didn't want to fry anything."
That's why she bakes the donuts.
"It's still a treat, because it has sugar in it," she said.
But she says it is a healthier treat than nearby alternatives.
"There's nothing processed, nothing that's not made here," she said. "The product differentiates us from anything else. We're paying close attention to the ingredients we're using and taking care to handcraft everything."
The shop also sells locally produced Kalesia tea and Buddy Brew coffee, and breakfast, such as quiche, on the weekends. Among customers, Morris said, the donuts have been popular.
"We're selling out every day" since the shop's soft opening, she said. She will plan for its grand opening soon.
"I'm not trying to be a donut conglomerate," she said. "That's not my goal."
Her goal, however, is to provide a place to have "a latte and a treat but feel good about it," she said. "I want to keep everything small batch and special."
Buttermilk Provisions is at 2653 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Its hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For information, call (813) 803-7787 or visit buttermilkprovisions.com.