KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many small businesses are struggling during the pandemic, 41 Action News found a brand new donut shop that's actually thriving.
The owners' recipe for success: gourmet donuts baked fresh daily, served in a unique,outdoor location.
DOP Donuts bills itself as "Kansas City's first outdoor pet and kid friendly donut and coffee shop."
Although it just opened Oct. 31, it's already attracting regulars, including Philip Bouillette.
The Prairie Village father of two said he stops by multiple times a week to get donuts for the whole family.
"The pistachio almond is probably my favorite donut to get, a little bit of protein. My son loves the glazed red velvet cake. My daughter, anything with sprinkles and she’s over the moon. And my wife loves the chocolate old-fashioned," Bouillette quickly rattled off.
As a self-described donut connoisseur, he has this tip for first-timers: the early bird gets the donuts.
"We do get here early because often if you get here late the selection dwindles a little bit because the donuts are that good," he said.
In fact, the staff at DOP Donuts told 41 Action News even with 500 to 600 donuts each day, they often sell out by 11 a.m.
As for the name, DOP stands for "Downtown Overland Park," a fitting description since that's exactly where you'll find it.
Just look for the shiny airstream trailer nestled between buildings, surrounded by AstroTurf, tables and chairs.
This open air donut shop is the brainchild of Travis Lindemoen, who owns the land along with the IT business next door. He said he was actually inspired on a family vacation.
"My family and I vacation down in Seaside, Florida, and a few years ago, I would say my kids' most favorite thing that they enjoyed was waking up early and riding the bikes to go get donuts from the donut truck that was there. So, I thought about that for a couple years," Lindemoen said.
He said the idea started to really take shape in fall 2019, before the pandemic hit.
Then, this October, he and his wife decided to take a chance and open, even at a time when other businesses were closing.
"I think the one thing that really pushed me into doing it is I had already purchased a trailer so I was kind of on the hook at that point" Lindemoen said. "So, we just rolled the dice, and it’s been really great so far."
In a way, he said the pandemic has worked to his advantage, offering customers a chance to order sweet treats in an outdoor environment with plenty of room for social distancing.
"It’s pretty critical. I’m comfortable coming here even when it’s chilly where I would be hesitant to go into a small shop and be in a crowded space. So, that’s a big part of why I come," said another regular, Janiece Vohland.
However, Lindemoen said he knows the same asset that's worked in his favor could work against him this winter. So, he's ordered outdoor heat lamps and a canopy he described as a giant igloo or greenhouse that will block the space from rain and snow, while still remaining open on the ends to allow air to flow through freely.
DOP Donuts is open from 6:30 a.m. to noon (or until they're sold out) on Wednesday, as well as Friday through Sunday.
They're located at 7512 W. 80th St., Overland Park, KS 66204.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated DOP Donuts' hours of operation.
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