Voodoo Doughnut arrives in Houston


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Voodoo Doughnut has opened a new location in The Heights.

Leo Morales, Staff Writer

The nationwide craze surrounding Voodoo Doughnut has arrived in Houston.

The  Portland-based doughnut purveyor offers a plethora of unconventional flavors, including the “Guava Colada” and the “Ring of Fire” all served in an iconic pink box. The store opened on Washington Avenue in The Heights on Jan. 15.

Voodoo’s unique flavors and doughnut-making process appeals to many students. 

Senior McKenna Grabowski was “mesmerized” by the sight of a Voodoo employee putting bacon on a fresh batch of doughnuts. She could quickly tell that the doughnuts were all handmade from scratch.

When Grabowski and her family learned that Voodoo Doughnut was open 24 hours, they headed there as soon as possible.

“After school, we saw there was a two-hour wait, so we made a plan to go at 3 a.m,” Grabowski said. “I woke up, went to my dad’s room, woke him up, and we all just went to Voodoo Doughnut in our pajamas.”

Voodoo was founded by friends Richard “Tres” Shannon and Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson in 2003. 

“It all started when we were coming up with ideas for successful businesses,” Pogson said. “We were thinking of running a bar or maybe a touring company, but we had the epiphany that there weren’t any doughnut shops in downtown Portland so we ran with it.”

After its success in Portland as well as Denver in 2013, Voodoo quickly expanded and now boasts nine locations, including Austin and Houston. 

“The one in Austin has those huge neon signs,” Grabowski said. “You would just never expect that to be a doughnut shop cause it’s on 6th street where there’s a bunch of bars and clubs everywhere.”

As of 2018, Universal Studios’ Hollywood and Orlando locations began selling Voodoo’s doughnuts.

Many attribute the chain’s success to its individuality.

“Every store is different,” sophomore Mason Muller said. “It’s a fun atmosphere, and it’s not just about doughnuts.” 

At the Houston location, a picture of Houston-born actor and singer Patrick Swayze hangs on one of Voodoo’s interior walls while Austin-native Alejandro Escovedo is portrayed playing the guitar in Austin. 

“It’s about the community that it’s in,” sophomore Owen Paschke said. “Every store is unique in its own way, and there’s artwork that relates to the town it’s in while having detailed and creative art on the doughnuts themselves.”

Voodoo’s CEO Chris Schultz plans to open several more locations in Houston.

Throughout their journey, Pogson and Shannon have kept their focus intact. 

“People calm down and are happy when they are around doughnuts,” Pogson said. “If you can make someone smile and charge them a buck for it, that’s not a bad deal.”