Friday, May 24, 2024

Beloved Richland bakery to launch two new shops

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An iconic Richland eatery is expanding into Kennewick and Pasco.

The Spudnut Shop, which has spent most of its 76 years in business helping to anchor the Uptown Shopping Center off George Washington Way, is adding a bakery and shop in Kennewick and a storefront in Pasco. The new locations are on track to open this summer.

“Small businesses have to be able to grow at some point,” said Ryan Pierson, who bought the Spudnut Shop with longtime friend Mike Bishop last year. “We’re very excited to continue to grow and get what we think are the best doughnuts in at least Washington to a larger community – get them out to the other cities.”

Spudnut Shop’s flagship location in the Uptown isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s remained largely unchanged since Bishop and Pierson came on board. That was by design.

Bishop and Pierson said as they took over that they didn’t want to mess with what made the shop so special, from its eclectic decorations to its beloved recipes. They did add some savory breakfast items, including a breakfast sandwich made with Spudnuts, and they started opening the shop on Sundays, a day when it traditionally had been closed.

Spudnuts is famous for its potato flour doughnuts.

| Photo by Rachel Visick 

Demand grows

In the last year, demand for Spudnuts has grown, and it’s not uncommon for the shop to sell out. It made sense to look for expansion opportunities while preserving the popular Richland location largely as it is, Bishop and Pierson told the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

The Kennewick bakery and shop will be in a new building at 5216 W. Okanogan Place, off North Edison Street, in the Edison Food Park development. Bush Developments is building the roughly 4,600-square-foot facility, which is slated to have two other tenants.

Hummel Construction & Development is the general contractor.

The Spudnut Shop’s space is about 1,500 square feet.

The Pasco storefront will be at 3315 W. Court St., in a building that already holds several other businesses. The space is being remodeled.

Bishop and Pierson didn’t disclose how much they’re investing in the expansion, but they said the new Spudnut Shop locations in Kennewick and Pasco will be fun and welcoming, filled with bright colors and art by local artist Joey Armstrong.

They hope to open the new locations by the beginning of July.

Bishop and Pierson are both Tri-Cities natives who had extensive business experience before buying the Spudnut Shop from longtime owners Val and Douglas Driver.

Spudnut-booth2.jpeg

Mike Bishop, left, and Ryan Pierson sit at a booth in the iconic Spudnut Shop in Richland’s Uptown Shopping Center. 

| Photo by Sara Schilling

Original shop

Val Driver’s father, Barlow Ghirardo, and her uncle Jerry Bell started the original shop in 1948 in the Richland Wye. It moved to the Uptown about 1 ½ years later.

Spudnuts are doughnuts made from potato flour. They were developed in 1940 by a pair of Utah brothers, who eventually franchised after perfecting a dry mix.

The Richland shop has gained a loyal following over the years, with retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, former U.S. secretary of defense, among its fans.

A promotional video from Visit Tri-Cities touts the message of supporting local businesses by using carryout and curbside pickup services. It features retired Gen. James Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Richland native, picking up Spudnuts in the Richland Uptown. (Courtesy Visit Tri-Cities)

Bishop said he and Pierson are looking forward to continued success as their business expands.

“This shop is a staple of the Tri-Cities. It’s been here forever. As the Tri-Cities grows, we want to grow with it. Our goal is to be the go-to spot for Spudnuts/doughnuts in the Tri-Cities,” he said.

Pierson agreed. “This is very exciting,” he said. “This business has been waiting 76 years to try to expand and we’re grateful that we’re able to lead the ship.”

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