ABQ doughnut shop finds itself ‘the perfect COVID business’ - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ doughnut shop finds itself ‘the perfect COVID business’

Two Boys Donuts opened just before the pandemic, but unlike many other businesses that suffered under uncertain circumstances, the doughnut shop thrived.

Now, Two Boys Donuts is in the midst of an expansion plan that will bring locations to many neighborhoods across Albuquerque.

Co-owner Brian Vargas said that the plan is to have five shops open by the end of this year and there are talks about opening up another three or four locations in 2022.

Two shops, at 6400 Holly NE and 2240 Q Street NE, are already opened.

Though none of the planned locations are on the West Side, Vargas said that is an area the company is looking at since Two Boys Donuts has seen success there through its mobile doughnut truck.

The West Side, Vargas said, is also an underserved area that could benefit from more local businesses.

Pandemic proof

Vargas said the pandemic proved just how successful the Two Boys Donuts concept could be since the shop easily lent itself to takeout and many people wanted a quality neighborhood doughnut shop.

He said that many of the customers of the shop’s original store, at 6400 Holly NE, lived within 3.5 miles of the store.

Though the company is rapidly expanding, Vargas said that when he opened the original location in July of 2019 with his wife Jean, neither of them expected to be opening locations at their current rate.

Two Boys Donuts owner Brian Vargas is seen with his 11 year-old twin sons Mason,left and Wyatt.(Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Their original goal, he said, was to provide a simple doughnut shop for his neighborhood.

“This was literally just a leap of faith without any experience in the industry at all,” he said.

But after several months of operation, the process of running a business in an entirely new industry started getting a little easier.

“It really felt like we were on cruise control and then COVID hit and we really had no idea what we were up against,” he said.

While many businesses shuttered temporarily, Vargas said he and his wife made the decision to stay open because they felt that they could do it safely while also benefiting the community by provi

Two Boys Donuts in ABQ Uptown

ding an option to grab a treat.

He said the decision to stay open “paid us back in dividends” with business doubling during the pandemic. Two Boys Donuts was able to pick up many new customers, some of whom drove from other ends of the city to pick a dozen doughnuts up.

“Obviously we didn’t plan it this way, but it worked out that we’re the perfect COVID business,” Vargas said. “People want some sweets to be able to feel good about themselves and to celebrate the little things but people also needed a good solid to-go concept where you can come in and get out.”

Protocols started during COVID, like pickup and car service options, will remain central to the newly opened stores.

With the increase in business, Vargas and his wife made the decision to open up a central kitchen that will supply the shops with doughnuts each morning.

He said the utilization of a commissary makes it easier to maintain quality across locations.

Eventually, Vargas would like to see the concept taken nationally. Several other local companies, including Dion’s and M’tucci’s, also utilize commissaries for the production of some items.

Should the company expand nationally, Vargas said the likely setup would be a single commissary that provides doughnuts for roughly eight to 12 locations.

Pilar Martinez covers retail and commercial real estate for the Journal. She can be reached at pmartinez@abqjournal.com.

 


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