More Voodoo magic

More Voodoo magic

The owners of Voodoo Doughnut took their quirky product to Eugene and found immediate success, but it might be due to summer, not sugar.

Co-owner Tres Shannon says the shop in Eugene, which opened in May, is doing well, but he admits the timing might be a big factor in its success. The summer months in Eugene are filled with festivals and concerts, and a lot of activity coincided with the shop’s opening, Shannon says.

So far, the new Voodoo has found a receptive market outside of Portland. Only one doughnut has been dropped from the Eugene menu: the dirty snowball. The marshmallow topping was too hard to get in Eugene, says Shannon.

The Eugene location is the third. The first Voodoo Doughnut opened in Portland’s Old Town in 2003 and five years later Shannon and co-owner Kenneth Pogson opened Voodoo Doughnut Too in Northeast Portland.

Shannon is busy managing the day-to-day details of the business, but within five years he and Pogson would like to open three to five more shops in Oregon. “The mojo has to line up,” Shannon says.

The Eugene shop created 20 jobs, which takes Voodoo Doughnut’s total employee count to about 100. Voodoo Doughnut’s staff would likely double if three new locations opened.

More often than not, there’s a long line at the Old Town location, and Shannon is surprised by the success. “Our original business plan was written on the back of a napkin in a bar,” he says. “It’s just a doughnut shop.”

The longtime partners are reluctant to bring outside money into their quirky but growing operation. “At this point it would have to be dump trucks of money,” Shannon says.