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

The best crisis is the one you avoid

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
crisisthumbBY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER

Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.


Read more...

Footloose

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

Get on the bus!

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER

How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

Opening soon: 3 of the coolest new breweries in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, March 19, 2015
brewthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are 278 companies licensed to operate as brewery, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Here are three new beer-making hubs slated to open soon.


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