The latest Natick, Mass., business news:
Tasting Mochi Dough’s ‘premium’ donuts
The recent opening of Mochi Dough and its “Premium Japanese Donuts” on the second floor at Natick Mall has been calling us, and for some reason I choose Halloween as my day to go there. Yes, the day where candy and other sweets will also find their way into my mouth. But this is what I signed up for in being a frontline worker.
When I arrived just after the shop opened at 11am, there was just 1 person in line ahead of me in the photo-ready shop where a sign does encourage patrons to stand in front of a flowery wall, hashtag their pics on Instagram, and maybe qualify for a free donut. While doing a company’s marketing for it might not be everyone’s cup of purple yogurt (a menu item at the shop), a free donut at Mochi Dough is a $4.50 savings.
Mochi donuts are made from rice flour instead of traditional yeast to create an airy and chewy inside surrounded by a crispy outside. The donuts are made of 8 connected balls, which can be broken off like separate Munchkins.
Before I headed to Mochi Dough I was chatting with various retail reps on the first floor, all of whom seemed to have tasted donuts from this store. They agreed that eating the donuts warm is key, and that easily breaking donuts into pieces essentially lets you play with your food and neatly share it.
The donut flavors are fun, with a series of flavors like pistachio, funnel cake, taro, and cinnamon churro, plus a separate collection of cereal flavors featuring favorites like Fruity Pebbles and Lucky Charms.
I went with Coconut, S’mores, Strawberry Sprinkles, and Captain Crunch, and limited myself to a few bites of the Coconut donut given inevitable Halloween sweets later in the day. Indeed, eating them warm is the way to go, as they’re chewy and melt-in-you-mouth at the same time, with some good finger-licking stickiness from the topping.
They’re not cheap at $16.50 for 4 or $24 for 6, but a fun treat if you’re looking for something different with enough flavors to find something for everyone.
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More Mall sweets during Hallow-mas
Natick Mall has something of a holiday mashup going, with lingering pumpkins and autumnal decorations increasingly getting overshadowed by Christmas decor, with some hanging overhead and then of course the big Christmas tree and fancy elevator ride to Santa’s workshop in the middle of everything (Thanksgiving? Never heard of it…)
But let’s concentrate on Halloween for now. It was fun to see various retail store employees dressed in their spooky finery at a couple of sweet shops on the first floor.
Another sweet new shop at the mall, Bee & Co., sells honey and all sorts of bee and honey-themed products that smell nice and can help you glow. Though they did seem to miss an opportunity in not having its employees buzzing around in bee costumes.
And if all that’s not sweet enough for you, a new store called See’s Candies is promising to open Nov. 2 on the first floor of the Mall.
Back to 1 barber shop
We posted a year ago about a barber shop that for some reason opened at 1 North Main St. (previously occupied by Calliope before the stationery store moved to 29 Main St.), almost next door to Robert’s Barber Shop, which has been operating across from the train tracks at 6 North Main St., since 2015. At the time, Rob puzzled over why someone would open up the shop so close to his, and now a year later that other shop has closed. Robert’s snapped up some equipment, and a sign on the door at 1 North Main St., makes it clear that if you want your haircut on that stretch now, Robert’s is the place to go.
When I spoke to Rob outside his shop, he mentioned hopes of expanding his business into the old salon space connected to his. He also handed me a few $5 off coupons for first time customers: I’m sure if you mention this post & are a first-time customer they’d honor the discount…
MathWorks lakeside expansion plan
Mathematical computing software firm MathWorks loves Natick and vice-versa. One of the top taxpayers in town, MathWorks continues to vow its allegiance to the town, and the town has supported the business by amending zoning in support of the business’s campus efforts. MathWorks anticipates needing more space by 2027 as the business continues to grow.
MathWorks brought a cast of thousands, well actually a handful of engineers, architects, legal expertise, etc., from fancy-sounding firms, to the recent Natick Planning Board meeting (see Pegasus recording about 2 hours, 15 minutes in) to show off its Lake Cochituate campus expansion plans, which have been in the works for at least a year. A working group involving town reps has helped to refine the plan.
The project involves tearing down a recently purchased 1980s building at 24 Superior Dr., and erecting a connected building closer to the lakeside campus buildings. Attention to sustainability and decarbonization was touted, as was thoughtful landscape design that should benefit those driving, biking, walking, or otherwise getting around campus.
More to come at the Nov. 8 Planning Board meeting.