Shipley Do-Nuts, a popular family-owned chain based in Texas, is coming to Colorado Springs as soon as this year or in 2018.
The company said this week that 58 franchised locations are planned around Colorado, starting in Denver this year.
Shipley, founded in 1936 and now headed by a third-generation member of the company's namesake family, has more than 280 franchise locations in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Colorado franchisee Carpo Colorado, part of Texas-based Carpo Restaurant Enterprises that operates locations of Jersey Mike's subs and Bush's Chicken, will head development of Shipley Do-Nuts around the state, said Scott Mellon, Carpo's president.
In Colorado Springs, Carpo is in the early stages of seeking a partner - a sub-franchisee - to bring Shipley locations to the area, and is talking with two groups, Mellon said.
If Carpo finds a partner to handle the Springs market within 60 to 90 days, and is satisfied with its financial qualifications, background and other details, the first local Shipley Do-Nuts location could open in late 2017, Mellon said.
But if no partner is found, Mellon said, Carpo will assume development of Shipley locations in Colorado Springs and he expects that two would open in 2018.
Additional units would follow, and a total of four Shipley locations are planned for the Springs, Mellon said. No store sites have been identified, he added.
Shipley, which serves more than 50 varieties that including traditional glazed doughnuts, kolaches and cream cheese rolls, will join a crowded field of national and regional brands in the Springs. Among them: Dunkin' Donuts, Southern Maid Donuts and Daylight Donuts, and local favorites such as Amy's Donuts and Horseshoe Donuts. Safeway, King Soopers and Walmart all sell doughnuts and baked goods, too.
Colorado's growing population, however, makes it an attractive market for Shipley and others, Mellon said. And after researching the state, Mellon said Carpo determined that Colorado - as the launching pad for successful concepts such as Chipotle and Smashburger - is a "food-forward" market.
"One of the things that we just saw consistently is that people appreciate the kind of artisan process of food," Mellon said. "Everything being done by hand, in house and really the transparency or the visibility of production."
Chipotle, for example, was an innovator that way, he said; customers liked watching food being cooked in a kitchen and moved to a preparation area before burritos and other dishes were assembled in front of them while they waited in line.
Unlike other doughnut shops in which products are made out of sight from customers, Shipley has a "full, open kitchen concept," Mellon said.
"From the mixing of the dough to making the donuts, to finishing the doughnuts out, everything is just right out in front of the customer and visible," he said.
"We just really felt like, for Colorado, for Denver, Colorado Springs and some of the key markets out there, that kind of food preparation and transparency in the food preparation process would really resonate with customers," Mellon added. "It's something that Shipley has been doing really well for about 83 years."
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