After a cold winter sapped his sales, the owner of a West End frozen yogurt shop thinks he’s found a year-round way to fill his revenue hole.
Goin’ Bananas next month will begin selling coffee and doughnuts inside its 1,300-square-foot storefront at 6919 Patterson Ave. Owner Eddie Simmons said he’s investing about $30,000 in two automated doughnut-making machines.
“I think doughnuts may be the next cupcake,” Simmons said. “Richmond is a fickle market and if it works in Richmond, it can work anywhere else.”
Simmons and his wife opened the frozen yogurt shop in June 2013. After a strong start, the business took a hit when the weather turned cold. So Simmons wanted to find another source of revenue for Goin’ Bananas.
“Everything I was thinking was seasonal,” Simmons said of items he considered adding. “Doughnuts are year-round.”
Simmons ordered two automated doughnut-making machines that can make made-to-order doughnuts. Customers will be able to choose the icing and toppings they want to go on their doughnuts. Pre-made doughnuts will be available, too.
“It’s going to be a cake doughnut,” Simmons said of his new product. “Not a raised doughnut like Krispy Kreme or Sugar Shack.”
Once the doughnut machines are installed at Goin’ Bananas, the shop will open at 6 a.m. most days of the week, Simmons said.
Long hours may be necessary to compete in the growing Richmond doughnut scene. Local brands Dixie Donuts and Sugar Shack have added second locations.
There are also the big chains to contend with. In January, Krispy Kreme opened a new shop in Midlothian. And new, experienced owners are breathing new life into several area Dunkin’ Donuts stores.