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Doughnut shop takes its act downtown

Michael Thompson December 17, 2013 5
Sugar Shack employees faced long lines Tuesday morning. (Photos by Michael Schwartz)

Inside Sugar Shack’s original location. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

Barely six months after launching with a bang in Carver, an upstart doughnut shop is rolling downtown.

Sugar Shack Donuts owner Ian Kelley is opening a second location, to be called Sugar Shack Coffee, at 1110B E. Main St. He signed a lease this month for the 1,000-square-foot space and plans to have it open early next year.

Ian Kelly

Ian Kelly

Sugar Shack opened in June to lines out the door at 1001 N. Lombardy St. Kelley acknowledged the success of the first location but said traveling to a new market calls for a few tweaks to the business model.

“The new one is going to be a little more high-end and more focused on coffee,” Kelley said. “It’s not that our first location isn’t working. You want to test a different approach. It’s definitely a different expectation of who our clientele will be.”

Kelley said he plans on drawing on the downtown crowd and doesn’t expect to have families coming in ordering dozens of doughnuts as they do at the Carver location. The downtown Sugar Shack will operate Monday through Friday.

The downtown location will still offer the brand’s signature doughnuts, but with a more limited selection and more of an emphasis on coffee. Baltimore-based Zeke’s Coffee will supply the beans. The new shop will seat about 20, Kelley said.

The Main Street space formerly housed Les Crepes, a creperie that opened in February. Les Crepes owner Mauro Pompili said he is closing after the business struggled to compete with nearby food carts. Pompili said he would like to re-launch the creperie in Stony Point.

The new Sugar Shack is set to open early next year.

The new Sugar Shack is set to open early next year at at 1110B E. Main St.

Kelley would not say how much it cost to launch the second location but did say he is using personal savings to finance it.

Sugar Shack has been riding high this year.

After launching in June, it temporarily closed after its first week of business to recover from unbearable demand. Over the past year, Sugar Shack bought a bigger mixer, upgraded its espresso machine and hired an additional 15 employees.

In addition to adding another location, Sugar Shack teamed up with fellow area startups for some new products. The shop sells Blue Bee Cider Cake doughnuts on the weekends, made with the Manchester cidery’s product. Magpie in Carver sells bread pudding on Sunday mornings made with Sugar Shack doughnuts.

Kelly said that on a bad day the Lombardy Street location sells 2,000 doughnuts. On a good day, the shop sells between 4,000 and 5,000.

With demand like that, he might not stop with two.

“Before I launched the first one, I had a business plan to launch a second, third, fourth and fifth location,” Kelley said. “If it works like this, I’d like to continue to do this in different areas.”

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5 Comments »

  1. Joey Burnett December 17, 2013 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Maybe it will occasionally offer the ever so difficult to acquire savory donuts which contain eggs and various breakfast meats.

  2. Nick Monday December 17, 2013 at 8:34 am - Reply

    You may not have to worry about “families coming in ordering dozens of doughnuts”, but you should consider that a dozen doughnuts will not last long when they show up on the kitchen counter in just about any office building downtown! My office is within a block of the future Sugar Shack location… There have been several occasions when I stop by Sugar Shack on Lombardy on my way into the office to pick up a dozen doughnuts and bring them into the office. Can’t wait until you are open in the new location!

  3. Wayne Duke December 17, 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Fantastic news for those of us downtown. The doughnuts are great. Just hope they have a plentiful supply. Very disappointing to get there and then there be no doughtnuts.

  4. David Bernhardt December 17, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

    We’ve been waiting for a doughnut shop downtown for a long time. I am with Nick, here. There will be large quantities purchased which will go fast in our office a few blocks away. We currently have to buy doughnuts on the way to work which is not very convenient. We will probably get doughnuts for the office more often if we can walk to the doughnut shop. I think demand downtown will be huge and the market here can probably support two or three doughnut shops.

  5. Renee Baldwin January 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I hope they don’t make a mistake because there needs to be a lot of doughnuts at the downtown location. There are plenty of places to get coffee but not doughnuts. I would assume more doughnuts would be sold downtown to business people than to families.
    Also downtown is a great location to display your corporate and wedding doughnut/coffee packages. I attended a wedding that had a variety of Sugar Shack doughnuts instead of cake. They were displayed on a cup cake stand and everyone loved it! If anyone would like a picture of this I do have it to share. Good luck with the opening. Hope the next location is in Midlothian!

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