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Amy’s donuts soon to purvey 140 varieties

Amy’s Donuts is known for offering hundreds of flavors and toppings. The company’s first shop opened in Colorado Springs in 2013. (Source: Amy’s Donuts Website)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Amy’s Donuts is looking to be the next stop on Albuquerque’s ever-expanding doughnut trail.

Tenant improvements will soon be underway to renovate the more than 2,500-square-foot former Mattress Store at The Shoppes at 6001 San Mateo NE into a doughnut shop. That’s according to Jin Kim, the store operator, whose sister-in-law, Amy Kim, started the company “with unique touch and flair” in 2013 in Colorado Springs. Amy’s then expanded to Columbus, Ohio; Tucson; and Spokane, Wash., and now Store No. 5 in the Duke City, which already has a pronounced fondness for the popular pastry item.

“We think Albuquerque will be receptive to our business,” Kim said of a market with a reputation for creativity and quirkiness. The business is scheduled to open this fall.

“Knock on wood; I think we can all co-exist and prosper,” said Kim, referring to both the chain and artisanal doughnut purveyors in Albuquerque. Doughnut stores are a $16 billion industry, with more than 24,000 stores nationwide, according to market research firm IBISWorld. As consumer spending has increased, with people spending more on smaller luxuries like doughnuts and coffee, doughnut stores are forecast to have 3.4 percent annual growth nationwide.

And Amy’s will be happy to oblige, with more than 140 varieties of doughnuts that include candy bars, cookies, cereal and even cotton candy. The Elvis is Amy’s homage to the King’s favorite fried sandwich. A doughnut glazed with peanut butter, it is decorated with banana chips and bacon bits on top and finished with chocolate fudge drizzle.

Shops like Amy’s are taking a page from the trendy Voodoo Doughnut joint in Portland, Ore., which popularized unconventional ingredients like Cap’n Crunch, grape-flavored Tang, M&Ms, Oreo cookies and marshmallows. Two of its doughnuts, the NyQuil Glazed and the Vanilla Pepto Crushed Tums doughnuts, are no longer available upon the order of local health officials.

For purists, a regular glazed doughnut at Amy’s will cost about 99 cents. The specialty doughnuts will go for about $2 each.

Kim said he plans to hire up to 40 people, including bakers, decorators and counter help.

“The footprint of the store is larger than the average doughnut shop layout,” said Kim, who expects many customers to sit and linger with a cup of coffee and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

The shopping center site was chosen because of its ample parking, access to nearby residential areas as well as the San Mateo and Jefferson business corridors. Bo Galles with Colliers International represented the tenant in the transaction; Ben Perich, also of Colliers, along with Galles, represented the landlord.

Here’s a scoop …

Customers line up for frozen custard at a local farmers market. (Courtesy of John Pitchford )

The owners of JP’s Custard Cart are putting their longtime business on ice.

“We wanted to let you know that after 12 years, we have retired and put the Custard Cart up for sale,” John Pitchford wrote in a recent email. He and wife Pam have been serving fresh frozen custards and Italian ices at several venues. Like clockwork, they set up on weekends at Fourth and Osuna and the Los Ranchos growers market. They participated in all the major festivals and events around Albuquerque from March through October.

Custard Cart has been a familiar sight around Albuquerque for a dozen years.

“This was a tough decision for us, but we decided it was just time to slow down a little bit,” wrote John. “Our hope is that someone else who loves frozen custard will continue the tradition and help keep our many loyal customers from having withdrawals.” He can be reached at 505-259-9619.

Staking their claim

Staff members prepare for the dinner hour at the Juniper Steakhouse, a new business at the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Albuquerque diners are spoiled for choice when it comes to tucking into a good steak.

Competition for the public’s hearts (and steak knives) is fierce at steakhouses, pubs and fine dining venues. Now, a new business is looking to take a bite out of the market.

The Juniper Steakhouse, which recently opened at the Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel, will be a little bit on the higher end, but at prices on par with Longhorn Steakhouse, according to Santa Ana CEO John Cirrincione. “Put it this way: You’ll have a great meal without breaking the wallet,” Cirrincione said. Reservations can be made through Seatninja.

Steve Sinovic covers the retail, tourism and hospitality beats for the Journal. He can be reached at ssinovic@abqjournal.com or by calling 505-823-3919.

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