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Voodoo Doughnut

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Voodoo Doughnut
Voodoo Baron Logo.png
Portland, OR (DSC 0242).jpg
The exterior of Voodoo Doughnut's flagship location in Old Town Chinatown Portland, Oregon
Restaurant information
Slogan"The Magic is in the Hole"
Established2003; 17 years ago (2003)[1]
Owner(s)Richard "Tres" Shannon III
Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson[2][3]
Food typeDoughnuts
Dress codeCasual
Street address22 Southwest 3rd Avenue
Country United States
Coordinates45°31′21″N 122°40′24″W / 45.522558°N 122.673447°W / 45.522558; -122.673447Coordinates: 45°31′21″N 122°40′24″W / 45.522558°N 122.673447°W / 45.522558; -122.673447

Voodoo Doughnut is an American doughnut company based in Portland, Oregon with a total of 10 stores located in California, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, and Texas.[4] It is known for the eclectic decor of its stores and pink boxes featuring the company logo and an illustration of a voodoo priest. It garnered attention for their employees' unconventional unionization approach in March 2020.[5]


The former exterior of the flagship location in Portland

Voodoo Doughnut was founded in May 2003[6] by Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Richard "Tres" Shannon III. The company's logo features a version of Baron Samedi, Voodoo Loa of the dead.[7] During the business's first few years, it was only open at night.[6]

The original location closed between April to June 2011 for remodeling after the company acquired space next door that was formerly occupied by a nightclub called Berbati's Pan. Much of the expansion involved creating additional room for the kitchen.[8]

In August 2011, Voodoo Doughnut's staff constructed an enlarged version of its box for the Portland Bridge Festival that contained 3,880 doughnuts.[9] The box was filled with smaller boxes and topped off with individual doughnuts until it reached 666 lbs, a number which, as Shannon explained, was chosen to go along with their voodoo theme.[10] According to NBC News, it was the biggest box of doughnuts in the world.[11]

Also in 2011, Voodoo Doughnut began partnering with Rogue Ales to convert several of its doughnut flavors into bottled beer. These have included: Bacon Maple Ale and Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Ale.[12] The latter was taken from its Memphis Mafia doughnut, which serves a tribute to Elvis Presley. That same year, the Los Angeles Times declared Voodoo Doughnut an international tourist attraction.[13]

In April 2017, a man choked to death while attempting to consume a half-pound doughnut within 80 seconds at the Colfax Avenue location in Denver. The eating contest, which was also a long-running tradition at other locations, has been suspended since this incident.[14] According to the contest's rules, anyone capable of eating the entire cake-sized treat would receive a commemorative pin and not have to pay for the doughnut.[15]


In 2020, also during the pandemic, workers at the downtown location unionized, forming The Doughnut Workers United (DWU), which is affiliated with the Portland chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).[16][5]


Bacon-Maple bar
Voodoo doughnut pink box
In addition to the Portland Cream doughnut, a variation of the Boston Cream doughnut), Voodoo Doughnut also makes a Cock and Balls doughnut that has cream filled "balls"[17]

Along with the examples included below, vegan doughnuts are also featured along with a rotating and frequently changing menu of specialty doughnuts and unusual variations of traditional varieties.[18] Voodoo Doughnut offers over 100 varieties in total.[8] Unconventional ingredients include Cap'n Crunch, grape flavored Tang, M&M's, Oreo cookies, and marshmallows.[19]

Two of their doughnuts, the NyQuil Glazed doughnut and the Vanilla Pepto Crushed Tums doughnut, are no longer available due to an order from local health officials. According to one of the company's co-owners, "The NyQuil one was kind of a lark, but that's the one that got the most famous. With the Pepto doughnut, I honestly thought if you had that shot of tequila you shouldn't have at 2:00 a.m., and then you got sugar, bread, Pepto, and Tums, you'd either feel better or puke your ass off and then feel better because you got it out of your system. So it was a win-win either way."[20]

On December 24, 2008, Voodoo Doughnut's Portland Creme doughnut was designated Portland's "Official City Doughnut" by a resolution introduced by Portland Mayor Tom Potter and passed by city commissioners the same night.[7] The resolution also expressed Portlanders' "deepest gratitude to Voodoo Doughnut management for its dedication in the face of these stringent economic times in providing employment opportunities... and above all, creating and naming a doughnut after our beloved city that leaves a lasting taste and fond memories on its customers near and far away."[21] Later, Mayor Potter and mayoral candidate Sam Adams attended a midnight doughnut-eating contest.[13]

On October 2, 2019, Voodoo Doughnut introduced a new Cannolo Doughnut, which is twisted before it's fried. The Cannolo is available in three different rotating seasonal flavors.[22]


As of September 2020, the company has ten retail locations.[23] The first opened in 2003[13] at 22 Southwest 3rd Avenue[24] in the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood of Portland. To celebrate their fifth anniversary, Voodoo Doughnut opened a second branch at 1501 Northeast Davis Street named Voodoo Doughnut Too in the Kerns neighborhood.[3] The operation began with a "soft opening" on May 30, 2008 with limited hours. The official opening was in June 2008 and featured a parade that traveled from the original location to the new one.[1][25]

Wedding services

Voodoo Doughnut offers legal wedding services followed by doughnuts and coffee.[26] In an effort to "ritualize" the name “Voodoo,” both Pogson and Shannon became ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, and subsequently performed both real and fake wedding ceremonies in their shops.[7]


The "Captain My Captain" doughnut, featuring vanilla frosting and Cap'n Crunch cereal

Voodoo Doughnut has been featured on television series including: No Reservations,[27] Man v. Food, Doughnut Paradise,[28] and Attack of the Show. It was also used as a destination in the season finale of the 13th season of The Amazing Race.

Jay Leno included a joke about Voodoo Doughnut during a 2004 Tonight Show opening monologue and said "Did you hear about the doughnut shop in Portland, Oregon, that has caffeinated doughnuts? Yeah, I guess you can stay awake during your bypass surgery."[29]

Voodoo Doughnut Recordings

In 2013, Voodoo Doughnut founders, Cat Daddy and Tres, started a record label named Voodoo Doughnut Recordings with the intent of establishing a catalog of doughnut-related music to help promote the company's brand.[30][31] Early novelty acts included The Deep Fried Boogie Band and The Doughnut Boys.[32] The label expanded to other artists such as Poison Idea,[30] The Dandy Warhols,[33] Dead Moon,[34] Smegma,[34] Jerry Joseph[35], Devin Millar, and Hazel.[36] The label also releases recordings of comedians such as Ian Karmel.[34]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Voodoo Doughnuts To Open New Shop". Portland Mercury. May 21, 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2008.
  2. ^ About Voodoo Doughnut from the company's website
  3. ^ a b Voodoo Child: A peek at Voodoo Doughnut Too Archived 2008-10-07 at the Wayback Machine from Willamette Week
  4. ^ "Voodoo Doughnut | Locations | Find your closest real life shop!". Voodoo Doughnut. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Burley, Shane (May 1, 2020). "Coronavirus fight: Some US worker unions become more aggressive". Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Doughnut Shop: Voodoo Doughnut". Believer Magazine. August 1, 2006. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Voodoo Doughnut". The Oregon Encyclopedia. Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society. March 17, 2018. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Voodoo Doughnut to Close Downtown Store for Renovation, Expansion The Oregonian.
  9. ^ Beaven, Steve; Oregonian, The (August 12, 2011). "That gigantic pink box of Voodoo Doughnuts may just set a world record". oregonlive. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  10. ^ "World's largest box of doughnuts weighs in at 666 pounds". August 10, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  11. ^ "The Sorta Secret History of National Donut Day". NBC News. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  12. ^ Goldfarb, Aaron (August 28, 2019). "How Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Ale Went From Troll Beer to Sensation". Inside Hook. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Sewell, Abby (February 20, 2011). "Voodoo Doughnuts: In Portland, Ore., nothing says commitment like a Voodoo Doughnut". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  14. ^ "Colorado Man Dies Choking on a Doughnut in Bakery Eating Challenge". Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  15. ^ Press, Associated (April 4, 2017). "Voodoo Doughnuts suspends eating challenge after man dies". KATU. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  16. ^ McIntosh, Don (March 20, 2020). "At Portland icon Voodoo Doughnuts, workers announce they've formed a union". Northwest Labor Press. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  17. ^ Walker, Tim (May 17, 2016). "This Portland doughnut shop is #FeelingTheBern". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  18. ^ Menu that are currently listed on the company's website
  19. ^ "Voodoo Doughnut Menu". Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  20. ^ Voodoo Doughnut from the August 2006 issue of The Believer
  21. ^ "Portland sprinkles award on official city doughnut". Oregon Local News. May 17, 2016. Archived from the original on December 25, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2008.
  22. ^ Frane, Alex (November 15, 2019). "Voodoo Doughnut Has a Crispy New Product on its Shelves". Eater Portland.
  23. ^ "Voodoo Doughnuts Opens New Location On McLoughlin Blvd in Milwaukie Today". KXL. September 7, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  24. ^ Tres Shannon (Voodoo Founder) (August 2011). "Hoods". Finder. Willamette Week. p. 54. Retrieved January 30, 2012. ... Voodoo Doughnut, ...(22 Southwest 3rd Ave., 241-4704, ... But I love that there’s still a porn theater where the Paris Theatre was (New Paris Theatre, 6 Northwest 3rd Ave., 295-7808). They’re great neighbors.
  25. ^ "In the Mix, FOODday". The Oregonian. June 3, 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2008.
  26. ^ [1] from the company's website
  27. ^ Anthony Bourdain Visits the Pacific Northwest from the Travel Channel website
  28. ^ Donut Paradise: The Ultimate Deep-Fried Treat from the Travel Channel website,
  29. ^ Nicholas, Jonathan (January 5, 2004). "DEPT. OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS". The Oregonian. pp. D01.
  30. ^ a b "Interview: Tres Shannon, co-owner of Voodoo Doughnut". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  31. ^ "Voodoo Doughnut Recordings". Vortex Music Magazine. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  32. ^ "7 things to know about Voodoo Doughnut's record label". January 3, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  33. ^ "The Dandy Warhols Set to Drop Two Records This April Including 'Nothin' To Do' Live at The X-Ray Cafe [Song Premiere]". Vortex Music Magazine. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c "Locals Only: Tres Shannon (Voodoo Doughnut)". Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  35. ^ "Jerry Joseph, Voodoo Doughnut Recordings, & Lower Boom : The Confluence". Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  36. ^ "Dead Moon live album to offer a first peek at Voodoo's unearthed rock archive". December 30, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2019.

External links