Cat Daddy and Tres, founders of Voodoo Doughnut; Source: Colin Hughes/Warby Parker
We recently set up shop in Portland, marking our second brick-and-mortar destination. Excited to get to know some of our fellow local businesses, we caught up with Voodoo Doughnut founders, Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Richard “Tres” Shannon. Cat Daddy and Tres have built a doughnut empire with seven locations, 50 flavors (including the famous Bacon Maple Bar) and a cult following that spans all the way to Tibet.
Get to know these Portland legends, their morning coffee orders and how their iconic pink doughnut box came to be…
As friends turned business partners, it’s fair to say you know each other’s styles. Describe the other’s home decor in three words.
Cat Daddy: Never. Ending. Museum.
Tres: Classy, comfortable and beautiful.
When did you first discover that “good things come in pink boxes?” Does the signature Voodoo Doughnut pink play into your personal styles?
Cat Daddy: We first saw the pink doughnut boxes in Pico Rivera (where we learned the art of doughnut making) and immediately latched on to the concept. The pink definitely fits – we are both extremely colorful and outgoing.
Tres: I wore pink a lot when I was younger, and got taunted a lot as well – but here I am still wearing it today! Luckily, I’m taunted less now.
Voodoo has some of the wildest doughnut flavors out there. What’s the most outrageous doughnut flavor you’ve ever dreamed up? Is it being sold?
Cat Daddy: The Bacon Maple Bar, first and foremost. We invented it!
Doughnuts are a classic morning staple, but what’s your pick for a midnight snack (retired NyQuil doughnut notwithstanding)?
Cat Daddy: I’m an Old Fashioned guy.
Tres: A doughnut is always a good idea – any time of the day – but Blueberry is what I had last night.
Bedside tables reveal a lot about a person…what’s on yours?
Cat Daddy: On my bedside table you’ll find a clock, lamp, charger and an assortment of biographies and autobiographies. I’m currently reading those of Louis Armstrong, Alex Chilton, Sammy Davis Jr., Charles Laughton and Don Rickles.
Tres: I keep things simple with books, aspirin, a lamp and money.
The Portland-based Instagram accounts you recommend checking before bed?
Tres: Uhhh…? [Editor’s note: Tres has a typewriter on his desk and uses a flip phone.]
With your stores open 24 hours a day, do you rise early with the doughnuts? Walk us through your morning routine.
Cat Daddy: My 13-year-old and 10-year-old are my morning routine.
Tres: I’m a late night guy. In the morning, I “quickly” skim two papers, eat some yogurt, take a walk, have a bath and head to work.
How well do you know the other’s doughnut and coffee order?
Cat Daddy: Coffee and a Buttermilk Bar!
Tres: Let’s just say: I know it really, really well.
You traveled to Southern California to learn the art of doughnut making, and you recently opened your first Los Angeles outpost. How did you land in Universal City?
Tres: They called, we answered!
Like Parachute, you have locations in both L.A. and Portland. How do the customers differ? And the vibe?
Cat Daddy: The beauty is that our customers are so varied – it’s become the norm! People love Voodoo in both Los Angeles and Portland.
Tres: I love L.A. and Portland. The vibe in both cities skews touristy. We strive to create a clean, friendly and inviting atmosphere at all our shops.