Despite being the mastermind behind Glaze Donuts — an artisan doughnut shop in the borough — a gluten intolerance keeps him from consuming his creations.
"Just because I can't eat them doesn't mean other people can't enjoy them," said Hazou, who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in November 2014. "That's why I keep creating."
Hazou, of Paramus, grew up enjoying doughnuts every Sunday after church with his family.
When he was old enough to drive, Hazou traveled around the tri-state area to sink his teeth into the delectable delights.
He put his own creations to the test at home, stuffing the dough with cream or jelly, and topping it with bacon or cookie crumbles, to feed to his family and guests.
“Doughnuts are more Americana than apple pie,” Hazou said. “I can’t imagine a family without them.”
The chef left his family’s cheese importing business after more than 40 years to open Glaze Donuts in New Milford in July 2014 and in Ridgewood the following February.
Although slow business closed the Ridgewood store, Hazou plans to open four more Glaze Donut shops in 2016, starting in Wayne.
“Everyone wants a good doughnut,” he said. “I like to say I’m more creative. I make things that make sense.”
Chicken and waffles is a dish that’s long baffled Hazou, but he says a maple bacon doughnut makes perfect sense.
Hazou was eating at a diner with his wife about five years ago when he accidentally spilled syrup on his bacon.
The rest, he said, is history.
"The maple bacon doughnut is one of our most popular doughnuts," he said. "But we still make all the classics ... Jersey cream, jelly and glazed."
Hazou is happy to throw in an extra doughnut at the counter. For him, bringing a smile to a customer's face is worth the few extra bucks.
Because it's not just about the product, Hazou said, "it's about the experience."
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