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

| Print |  Email
Archives - March 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008

VoodooDoughnutFounders.jpg
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.                                   

EVAN CAEL


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

 

More Articles

Banking Perspective

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank.


Read more...

Emperor of the Sea

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.


Read more...

5 questions for inDinero CEO Jessica Mah

The Latest
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
jessicathumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.


Read more...

Downtime with the director of Barley's Angels

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play with Christine Jump.


Read more...

The Good Hacker

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY CHRIS HIGGINS

As digital security breaches skyrocket, a cybersleuth everyman takes center stage.


Read more...

Celestial Eats

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER AND EILEEN GARVIN

A power lunch at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar.


Read more...

Short Shrift:The threat of just-in-time scheduling

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Companies can benefit when they use software to meet staffing requirements and address employees' family and life commitments.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS