Do-it-your-way doughnut shop’s rising success tied to expert business mentors, community loan
Do you have dreams of opening up your own food or drink business but aren’t sure how the public will react to your concept? You can follow in the prudent footsteps of Southern California-based Glazed Donut Bar and prove your idea at your local farmer’s market.
Their novel business model, which allows customers to customize their own gourmet doughnuts, was such a hit that the idea’s co-creators knew it was time for a brick-and-mortar shop.
Earlier this spring, Anthony and Yadira Davis with fellow owners David and Berenice Salvatierra opened up Glazed Donut Bar in a bustling shopping center in family-friendly Whittier. The startup has already received a mountain of buzz, from a TV spot on Fox’s Good Day LA to exposure at the Los Angeles Times’ increasingly popular Night Market.
Since the TV spot aired, “business has been booming,” Anthony said. “Seeing the response has been the most satisfying (moment.)”
He took CDC Small Business Finance through the team’s journey of working with business coaches to ensure their concept was set up for success to locate the right type of business capital.
From idea on paper to market testing
Anthony, who has business-management experience, got his idea of opening up a made-to-order doughnut bar in summer 2015. A few months later, he met with a mentor at SCORE’s Los Angeles chapter to develop a business plan — an important step for any entrepreneur seeking financing for their business. SCORE is a nationwide network of experienced business mentors who volunteer their time to help aspiring business owners at no cost to them.
By fall 2016, Anthony formalized his Glazed Donut Bar concept and partnered with David, who has 19 years of experience successfully building and managing restaurants.
After forming the business in January 2017, the tight-knit Davis-Salvatierra team tested the market by selling their doughy creations at a local farmer’s market on the weekends. Customers loved the concept of customizing their freshly made doughnuts with an eclectic range of accompaniments including glazes, drizzles and toppings.
Launching doughnut shop with an SBA loan
After the positive reviews at the farmer’s market, the team decided it was time to move their operation to a more permanent location. And to do that, they needed financing to pay for everything from equipment to a commercial lease.
They contacted several SBA loan providers and ultimately worked with CDC Small Business Finance, a top small-business lender and nonprofit, due to the “warm reception from CDC that made us believe in the process,” Anthony said.
He acknowledged getting a government-backed loan was made much easier because CDC was there to guide him and his business partners through every step.
“Without it (the financing,) we would not have been able to open our store,” Anthony added.
How Glazed Donut Bar works: First, pick your glaze, ranging from chocolate to strawberry to banana and more. Second, pick two toppings from many options including peanut butter cups, marshmallows,granola and more. Then finish off your creation with a drizzle of chocolate, caramel, vanilla or strawberry. That all goes on a freshly made cake doughnut. You can even add a scoop of ice cream to your order.
For those who feel overwhelmed by the choices, you can pick from a selection of signature creations including maple bacon, jalapeño bacon and cheesecake.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from experts
Anthony imparts this piece of wisdom to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Get a mentor. They help take your idea to concept and push you past what you think are your limits.”
Not only did he receive help from a SCORE mentor, he also got post-loan coaching from CDC’s business advising department. This division connected Anthony and his team with a CPA who helped clean up their accounting before their doors opened.
Anthony is still elated that a lender was willing to take a chance on a startup like theirs.
“It was really exciting to know that someone else believed in our concept and was willing to share the risk,” he said.
Jobs created/preserved: 6
Whether you’re looking to launch or grow a business, CDC Small Business Finance offers several loan options for business owners in all stages.
In case you missed it:
- From humble garage beginnings to three showrooms: The meteoric rise of an outdoor kitchen, BBQ mini-empire
- How a NorCal private school founder achieved security, financial freedom through buying commercial real estate with SBA 504 loan