Sponsored by Oregon Business

Who do voodoo like they do? Q&A with Voodoo Doughnut founders

| Print |  Email
Saturday, March 01, 2008

Voodoo owners Kenneth Pogson and Tres Shannon

PORTLAND Five years ago two Portlanders opened a doughnut shop with little more than a few off-color creations and a lot of ambition. Now, as Voodoo Doughnut approaches its wood anniversary, owners Kenneth Pogson and Tres Shannon have seen their downtown Portland doughnut shop amass international headlines and TV spots watched by millions. Almost immediately after opening in the spring of 2003, Voodoo Doughnut became a city icon and as much a must-do tourist stop as Powell’s or the Pittock. We recently pulled the duo away from the deep fryer to get their once and future reflections.

How do you keep up with demand in that tiny hole in the wall?
Shannon: We are in the process of establishing a second location right now. We’re still being a little vague about it because the deal’s not been finalized. It’ll be in one of the four quadrants in Portland. We really need a second location. We’re turning business away right now.
Pogson: If you go back to our original notes, it’s pretty much the plan we laid out. Opening day, we looked at each other and said that by five years we should have another place. And we’re coming up on it. Now the franchise people are bugging us. They want to give us millions of dollars to make it like Starbucks, but we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to cash it in yet. We’re still having a good time.

voodoodoughnuts.jpgWho’s your customer?
Pogson: Everybody. Where we’re situated, we’ve got the bank tower nearby, and there are 5,000 people in that everday. And there aren’t any other doughnut shops around. Different times of the day we have different crowds: business in the morning, family and travelers in the afternoon and partiers at night. There’s still a lot of crossover. Saturdays and Sundays, 50% of business is tourists.

How many doughnuts do you sell a day?
Pogson: On an incredible day we can sell between 15,000 and 20,000 doughnuts.

How’s the commodity market treating you?
Pogson: Soy and palm, which are the oils we use, have about doubled in the last year. The eggs and the milk and the flour have skyrocketed as well. But it’s a doughnut. It doesn’t cost that much to make. Plus, in my eyes, we’re still a vice industry, and when times are bad vice industries always do fine.

What’s the Magic 8 Ball say?
Shannon: Worldwide doughnut domination.                                   


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


More Articles

Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


New green wood building product takes off in Oregon

Thursday, September 10, 2015
091115-cltjohnson-thumbBY KIM MOORE

Oregon is set to become a hub of a new type of wooden building design as a southern Oregon timber company becomes the first certified manufacturer of a high-tech wood product, known as cross-laminated timber, or CLT.


5 marijuana business people share strategy ahead of recreational sales rollout

The Latest
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ahead of the recreational rollout, what are dispensary owners most concerned about ?


More Than Meets the Eye

Guest Blog
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Janet Yellen official Federal Reserve portrait-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.


Reader Input: In or Out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The refugee crisis has put immigration and border issues on the front burner, in Europe and at home. In Oregon, attitudes toward illegal immigration haven’t changed dramatically since 2006.


Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02