Warning: Reading Monday’s Business Outlook on an empty stomach may induce serious doughnut cravings.
My profile on Donut Mart and the family behind the fast-expanding Albuquerque chain will appear on the Outlook cover, while the growth of another local shop, Rebel Donut, is covered in my retail column.
This was pure coincidence — we had the Donut Mart piece on our story budget weeks before I learned about Rebel Donut’s new West Side shop.
However, the back-to-back stories make me wonder how both of these Albuquerque businesses have been able to grow faster than even their owners expected, especially since it seems like so many other doughnut shops around the city have shuttered in the last decade or so.
(As a doughnut enthusiast myself, I still can’t drive down San Mateo NE without remembering the long-gone Winchell’s. It’s a cellphone store now and just one of several doughnut shop ghosts I could point out around the Duke City.)
Rebel Donut owner Carrie Mettling explained the doughnut’s popularity as a sign of the times.
“I think it’s comfort food in a down economy,” she said. “Everybody still has a dollar.”
Indeed, Donut Mart has boomed in the rocky economy, growing to five stores in just three years.
“Doughnuts are recession-proof apparently,” said co-owner Amin Gauba.