Voodoo Doughnut's New CEO To Develop Brand Culture For Emerging Brand

Voodoo Doughnut's New CEO To Develop Brand Culture For Emerging Brand

Whichever way you spell it, you can’t deny specialty doughnuts (or donuts), have increased in popularity in recent years. So much so, that in August of last year Foodable went as far as determining which are the top three shops in the United States.

Well, this week, a former pizza brand executive, Chris Schultz was appointed as the new chief executive officer for a cult-favorite, doughnut brand— VooDoo Doughnut.

Last year, Paul Barron, Foodable’s CEO and Editor-In-Chief, sat down with Schultz, the former Senior Vice President to MOD Pizza to discuss what are the secrets for an emerging brand to be successful.

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Miamians Line Up for Artisanal Desserts at The Salty Donut in Wynwood

Miamians Line Up for Artisanal Desserts at The Salty Donut in Wynwood
  • Miami's The Salty Donut shop pours Chicago's Intelligentsia Coffee while serving up maple bacon desserts.

  • Hand-crafted, artisanal donuts fit in with the art scene found near Wynwood Walls.

The Salty Donut began as a mission to bring handcrafted, artisanal doughnuts to Miami. Owners Andy Rodriguez and Amanda Pizarro traveled across the country for these desserts and wondered why Miami didn’t have them.

“We realized that Miami is usually at the tail end of a lot of gastronomic trends and we just really wanted to do something that was for our city. Bring a little bit of culture that we didn’t have from other places around the country to our city...because I feel like Wynwood is part of the town, part of Miami that’s most accepting to kind of different things,” Rodriguez said.

Prior to having their storefront, “Salty,” as it is affectionately known, was trying to keep up with their customers' insatiable demands from a pop-up truck. Even now that they have been able to move into their storefront, The Salty Donut regularly has lines stretching down the street and often sells out of doughnuts before the business day is done — not surprising, due to its widely varied consumer base.

“I think we’ve got kids [who] are super trendy and kinda fashion-forward. I think we’ve got, you know, grandmas and grandpas that are 80 years old that come in and get our doughnuts,” Rodriguez added.

With quirky items like the pancetta, cheddar, and cornbread cake doughnuts and classics like the traditional glazed buttermilk, Salty offers a treat for every flavor profile. The menu is thanks in part to veteran pastry chef and The Salty Donut Executive Pastry Chef Max Santiago. With his 20 years of experience, Chef Santiago can change his menu regularly.

“Whenever anyone asks me, ‘You do just doughnuts?’ I don’t do just doughnuts, I do desserts,” he said.

And those desserts are just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the stomach. As customers walk in to satisfy their doughnut craving, many can’t help but stop to snap a shot for Instagram or Facebook.

Watch this episode of REACH Miami to see what all the fuss is about at The Salty Donut.

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Now Trending: Gourmet Doughnuts

Now Trending: Gourmet Doughnuts

By Brian Murphy, Foodable Contributor

There are supermarket doughnuts, prepackaged, shelf-stable doughnuts, gas station doughnuts, the national chains, and then a vast sea of "decent," independent doughnut shops. Making quite the splash in this giant sea is the craft doughnut establishment. There is more to doughnut life than a good apple fritter and a buttermilk bar, and paying customers are demanding more.

The Voodoo Doughnut Connection

Portland, OR helped lead the way when it comes to out-of-the-ordinary doughnuts. Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland started out small and opened during non-traditional "doughnut buying" time, opening late nights, and being closed Sunday mornings for years. Their offerings ranged from rolling the doughnuts in cereal after glazing to the incredible "Memphis Mafia" fritter, a decadent, fritter-style doughnut with banana chunks and cinnamon, chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts, and chocolate chips. Inventive, edgy, and sometimes profane, Voodoo Doughnuts created a word-of-mouth following that now requires them to have a theme park-esque queue where patrons willingly wait a long time to try the legendary fried dough covered with sweet glazes and sweeter or sometimes savory toppings (Bacon Maple Bar.) Voodoo doughnut boxes can be seen in and around public trash cans blocks away from their location. People take them to go, but they just can't make it very far.

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