Taylor Carlson – Greenbush Bakery

Who doesn’t love donuts?
I met with Taylor Carlson to chat about the bakery business.  Greenbush Bakery in Madison, Wisconsin is a local staple for college kids and families.  They offer incredible donuts and have adapted to the challenging times that any business that interacts directly with customers is having to deal with now.
Taylor details the kosher quality they have continued since his grandfather purchase the bakery in the 90’s.
Listen as Taylor details the expansion of this fantastic bakery that challenges diets everywhere.

Want to hear more?  Hit it:   [themo_button text=”More Business Podcast Episodes” url=”https://drawincustomers.com/category/podcast/” type=”standard”]

Authentic Business Adventures Podcast


So you found Authentic Business

the business program that brings you
the struggle

stories and triumphant successes
of business owners across the land.

One thing I think we can all agree
on is that donuts are awesome.

Think that’s safe to say.

So we brought Taylor Carlson,
the general manager and co owner

at Greenbush Bakery.
How are you doing today?

Doing good yourself.
I’m doing awesome.

Yeah, I’m doing I’m excited because
we’re in this new studio here.

And so this is the first

video, live video that we’re doing
the podcast interview on.

So welcome man.

And if anything breaks, sorry.


So Greenbush Bakery.

Let’s start out first.

Where did the name come from?

So Greenbush Bakery

came from the neighborhood
that our original location was at.

So that neighborhood down

off Regent Street is known as
the Greenbush neighborhood.

And it’s always, you know,
it was where the Italian immigrants

arrived and it’s still named the Greenbush
neighborhoods is kind of where that name

came from when my grandparents
bought the business.


So there was a bakery that was down
on Regent Street few years back,

and that’s my grandparents purchased
the bakery when it was kind of rundown

and dingy and
changed the name to Greenbush Bakery.

And they bought that in March of 1996.

So they’ve owned the business
for 24 years now.

That is so weird.
1996 to me

it seems like that was just the other day,

Yeah, I was crawling back then.

I feel old.

So that was our original
location down there.

All right.
And we built another location

on the east side of Madison
a little over three years ago now.


And then we just relocated that original
location at the end of August.

So it’s almost like a year now
since we’ve moved to that location.

And we just moved it
down like the block.

I’m still on Regent Street.

So it’s just kind of a new spot and.

So we’ve got two locations in Madison now,

All right.

So do you know the story about why your

grandparents chose a bakery
or specifically that bakery?

It was.
It’s kind of funny.

My grandpa always talks about,

like all things kind of led up to his life
to owning the bakery.

All right.
So he’s done numerous things in his life.

He was in the Navy.

He sold insurance.

He’s worked at Oscar Meyer for numerous years.

So he

has done all these
different jobs where he kind of

I think it was kind of almost like

an impulse thing where he just decided
just. Let’s just buy a bakery. Do something new and

ended up in the bakery business.
All right.

So, yeah, it wasn’t really any,
like, crazy story behind it.

I think she was just kind
of opportunity that came up.

And when he originally bought the bakery,
he had a business partner in on it

with him that he ended up buying out
a few years after they purchased it.

So him and my grandma like the main ones

that have owned the business
for sure all these years.

So he had to be older ish, relatively.

He bought the bakery.
He’s in his 70s now.

So he was in mid 50s.
Mid 50s.

Yeah. Around 50.
All right.

So career shift.

Yeah, a little bit.
Going from insurance to selling donuts.

So did he,

the bakeries itself was existing
at the time that he bought.

Yeah, there was there was a bakery there.

It wasn’t Greenbush but there was
a bakery there when he purchased it.

So he had to do a lot of upkeep
to kind of bring it up to speed.

And that’s kind of what,
you know, has made the business.

What it is, is just his
ability to be a handy man.

And now, sure,
every aspect of the business and kind of

do things on his own to kind of, you know,
bring the business where it was.

And it’s I mean, even the last like five

years of us getting
the East Side location.

yeah. And relocating,

it’s completely different game
than it was twenty four years ago.

I bet. Just as far as the locations
and volume that we do now.

But I mean. Is it more or less?

Well, yeah, a lot more.

What do you attribute that to?

Is it more people just around Madison?

I think just how Madisons
growing and you know, with us

just being a staple in Madison
for such a long time

you know, I think with,
you know, the university kind of growing

and just the Madison as a whole, even
like the outskirts, Sun Prairie here.


You know, I think that’s
kind of a tribute to it.

And we’ve just kind of always had a high
quality product where, you know, people

word of mouth kind of talk about us.


you know, we kind of do something

that a lot of places there’s not too many
places in the area that do what we do.

So I think as far as bakery here.
Yeah, I mean,

I think just with the quality of stuff,
I mean, sure, there’s bakeries

all around Madison.

But right now, our main focus
is I would say donuts.

So, you know, there’s a lot of bakeries,
good bakeries in the area that do,

you know, cringle or cakes
and stuff like that.

But as far as what we do,

I don’t think there’s really too many
people that can compete with us for what we do.



yeah. That’s cool.
Yeah. That’s cool.

So I feel like donuts are one of those

things that just seem to be
popular at anytime, regardless of

the health kicks.

I guess that people may
or may not claim to be


It’s a cool look around
the world you like.

Well, not too many people.

So I mean, you show up to a party or
with some friends over the box of donuts.

No, it’s going to be like

even if it’s January 2nd,
I’m going to lead them.


So tell me, is your bread
and butter business.

The one on one,
like the the person walking in buying

a few dozen or a dozen or six
donuts or something like that?

Or is it a huge
butter wholesale where you’re saying yes.

So we try we do wholesale stuff in

local grocery stores
and markets in the area.

Okay, so we’re in like
the Hiva Mecca Sherriffs Willie Streets.

All right.

And Woodman’s.

So we’re just in the
Madison area for that.

And we do package product for that.

OK, but that’s really only probably like
a fifth of our business that we do.

So it’s mainly like our
retail or both locations.

Our Eastside location is kind of gradually

grown and I think that’s just what
the area here sure has kind of.

There’s apartments and houses
going crazy over here.

Oh, my gosh.
And I like weeds.


In downtown, you know,
with the students or.

Right on campus down there.

Anytime they’re at athletic events
going on down there, we’re busy.


I think, you know, with our retail, that’s

definitely our, you know,
big business that we think.

So I think,
you know, with everything that’s going

on too, it’s been tough because we were
able to keep doing that wholesale stuff.

And that was, you know,
with people only being the go to grocery

store here these last few months,
we’ve been really busy with that in our

wholesale accounts have kind
of grown as far as like volume.

All right.

But obviously, not having that retail
has been kind of a tough situation.

But we were able to kind of

we were doing some curbside
stuff out of our location.

That’s where we do our
wholesale production.

And that’s kind of the main reason we got

that say location was
for our wholesale stuff.

So we had kind of just outgrown

the region, street location
as far as production.

We were probably doing 16,
17 hour days with our wholesale and retail

stuff when it was just Regent Street at
the end of before we got the East Side.

so we were kind of looking at another

location to do that mass
production for the grocery stores.

And we kind of fell out here.

So we do all that production out
at the East Side for the grocery stores.

So that’s the last few months.

We were still doing that.

And we added like the curbside pickups.

When we didn’t have our retail open,

which was kind of fun because we were

doing at first we were doing
just Friday afternoons.

And we were really busy with that.

And we started bringing back some of our
full time employees kind of gradually.

And we started doing Thursday through

Sunday mornings where we
are doing the curbside.

And there is a few days where we would

we would have like a line
all the way out past that.

Steinhoff ls like out to the real
Mother’s Day we had.

It was probably like a 45 minute
wait for people to get there.

Don’t worry.

We did we did like all
preorders for it too.


Because otherwise we would’ve had no
idea what to make sure to expect it.

We would get all the orders in place

and kind of have like a pick
pickup time for everyone.

And they would come and

wait in line and we’d run the Donitz
up to the car, take payment.

So we were just kind of been getting
creative with the last few months here.

And now we’ve got both of our retails open
both locations with more open six to one

from six a.m. to one p.m. every
day right now at both locations.

And then after Fourth of July weekend

here, we’re going to kind of expand
into some afternoon hours.

yeah, it’s been an interesting few months,

but I mean, every day it’s kind
of been dealing with the same stuff.

That’s the name of the game, right?

Anybody that’s in retail or we have
some consumer contact of any kind.

And that was the hardest part about it,
too, is, you know,

the biggest thing for us is having people
come in and see the donuts and kind

of lose out with donuts they wanted
and not having that for people.

You know, we were doing the preorders,

but we were also having people call in the
morning of like, hey, are you guys open?

Oh, we’re doing curbside.

But sure, we were making extra stuff
for people to kind of try to accommodate.

But it was kind of a tough thing when you

don’t have the customer coming
in to see what you have available.

You know.

And we do so many different kinds
of doughnuts where

it was kind of just first come,
first serve, and if we were looking

for specifics, we were trying
to accommodate them to that.

And with our business,

we’re not like a normal restaurant where
it’s like making the stuff on demand.

It takes a lot of work and prep time.

You know, it’s not like you can order

a cheeseburger in like it’s
ready in 15 to Shern and it’s.

So that was kind of a tough aspect of it.

But we just kind of been doing what we
can do and get creative as possible.

Yeah, we think so.

But I think a lot of people have been
having to do that the last few months.

Oh my gosh.

You’re not alone.

And that’s kind of the ease in it.

Just like, you know,
it’s not just us deal with it.

It’s everybody’s right.

So tell me about
the region’s street place.

You moved you switched locations
up a block away or something.

Yeah, yeah.
It was a bigger is a better more traffic.

So the old location that we had,
we had a basement there.

So a lot of a lot of storage,
but it’s kind of unused storage.

But as far as our location now, we pretty
much just cut down on that storage.


And we’ve got a lot of space that are you
said location where

a lot of the extra equipment that we
kind of accumulated over the years,

unneeded space.

We’ve kind of put all that equipment over
in our storage of the East Side and just

kind of cut down on the storage at the new
Regent Street spotter and then our retail

at the new Regent Street.

We actually have we had
some seating inside.

But we’ve kind of put it out now.

So we’ve got it.

So we actually we’ve got more
space in like our retail.

And it’s that old reason street location.

You know, I’d been there
for so long and it was kind of

it had some character to it.

You know, even if we our lease was kind

of coming to an end there where we kind
of just made the decision to move to a new

spot and kind of revamp and
have a fresh start there.

So it’s I mean, it’s a beautiful
spot that we’re in now.

Yeah, I’m in the way that we’re
in the region apartments there.

OK, so it’s right across
the street from SCOTNEY Bar.

Sharon Luckies.

So we’re like right in the shadows of
Camp Randall Pretty Ranch, which is nice.

So that building itself,

it’s got a lot of it’s kind of a long
spot where there’s a lot of windows.

So we’re actually the way we’ve got

that set up is we’ve got some of our
production actually visible for customers.

So out in front, we’ve got like a little

patio area for, like,
the apartment complex.

Okay, we’ve got some lights.

They’ve got some seating
and stuff out there.


And then were that seating is all the
windows are with like our sheeter room.

So you can see them actually making donuts

throughout the door and a little bit
of visibility with our production.

That’s another cool aspect of it, too,

because there’s not really any places
that you can go and see them right.

In your doughnuts or anything,
whatever it may be.

So that’s cool.

Yeah, and it’s kind of a,
you know, a process.

A lot of people had no idea how donuts are
made or, you know, never seen that before.


What kind of a cool off
aspect of Suresnes, too?

So, yeah, it’s interesting.

My kid

likes to watch TV every once in a while
and they tell me you get to learn

something from whatever you watch
of watching these how it’s made shows

like we got to watch how it’s made

on chickens,
like from Chicken Animal into the

contenders or whatever you say,
love with my wife.

Because just being girls.
Oh yeah.

There’s some stuff you don’t want to see.

But there’s nothing really
girls would note it’s.

I mentioned the little girls.
Are you.

I mean

with our events and stuff too,

you know, it’s pumping all
the air out from our hood system.


So if you’re walking by the bakery
to you can just smell the donuts.

Oh sure.
Bring him in.

He’s like, for me, it’s kind of you come
immune to the smell a little easier.

And everybody that comes in like, oh, I
could smell it from a block away are your


So tell me a story about how you got

involved, because, yeah,
1896 is a while ago for you.

So I’ve kind of grown up with
being involved with the business.

So when I was a kid,
my grandpa would always take me

to the bakery and Hensher sweep up or
whatever, just kind of I was babysitting

me and when I was like in college,
I went to ATC for two years and then I was

up in Stevens Point
to finish up my degree.

And whenever I was in college,

back for the summers or winter breaks, I’d
always kind of help out at the bakery.

Sure, I was actually able to use

the bakery as my internship to go
to graduate for business.

So my last semester of school,
I only had a few days of classes where I

was kind of commuting
back on the weekends.

And I was kind of using that as my time to

I didn’t really know I was going
to be working at the bakery.

And so probably like
my senior year of college.

So it was kind of just like perfect
timing with my grandparents, like.

Getting older and

needing to kind of expand the business
where I’ve kind of came into play.

And it was kind of good
to use it as an internship.


It’s because I knew that what I was gonna
be doing and just kind of learning

the aspects of the business
and great real world.

Yeah, for sure.

So once I graduated, I kind
of started full time with the bakery.

And that’s when we just had the region

street location, the old
region street location.

But a year in from when I started,
that’s when we kind of

got the East Side location.

So just kind of like perfect timing.
Sure thing.

With my family.

So did your grandparents ask you about
the second location or did they.

It was your kind of decision.
I mean, over there.


I mean, I was kind of as far as like
finding a location and kind of getting

everything set up as far as
build outs and stuff like that.

I was pretty much in full control, almost
like obviously I had some say with it and

but I was kind of taking over, you know,

most of that stuff for sure is
getting that kind of in place.

All right.

So, yeah, that’s cool.
Yeah, that’s cool.

How did you guys land
on the East Side spot?

So we headed looked at a few locations.

We looked at

a spots that we were pretty
we weren’t sure about it.

It was kind of a nice spot.
Was read over by carbon for sure.

And he said, you won there.

We had looked at that one first and then

we looked at a few other
locations where we

were just trying to think because we
wanted to have that wholesale production

there, but we also wanted to have
the retail sector earnings.

That’s a tough combo.

Yeah, exactly.
So we needed a lot of space and we needed,

you know, an ability to be
able to draw a retail crowd.

We get a lot of foot traffic down

on Regent Street and we don’t
really like that at the Eastside.

It’s more driving in.

But we were kind of just looking

for something that would
fit both of those aspects.

And the spot that we’re in right now is
actually like, you know, it’s perfect.

We’re sure of like right between
Madison and some prairie and right.

There’s just apartments
going up crazy and.

Yes, like crazy.


you know, it’s taken some time for us

to kind of grow accustomed
customer base out there.


But that’s kind of for any
business, you know.

You know, for us being a small business
to it’s not like I have,

you know, thousands of dollars
for a marketing budget.

Perfect segue way.

Perfect segue, because I want to ask
you about marketing for a donut shop.

Like, how do you market that donut shop?

A lot of it’s word of mouth.

So we I really don’t do too
much as far as marketing.

A lot of it’s just social media.

We did some stuff when we started
the Eastside location for like

Google ads and stuff like that just
to kind of get our listing some

some variety.

People searching specifically for.

I mean, it’ll pop up now.

That was kind of a learning
aspect when we first sure.

Started the business because,
you know, if the new Google listing.


You Google like McDonald’s
shows up on like the map.

A single McDonald’s that you have.

But with the new like Google listing,
it doesn’t it didn’t show up.

Greenbush bakery right away.

It showed the region street location,
but it didn’t show any side.

So that’s why we kind of did some ads
with that just to kind of get some,

you know, some traffic with that location.


there seems to be a little
bit of a pay to play.

In that regard, they don’t say that we

still you know,
it’s gotten better over the.

I think there’s a lot of people,

especially in Madison now,
where people are kind of moving

in for jobs and stuff where
they weren’t born and raised in Madison.

A lot of people born and raised in Madison

have probably heard of Greenbush
bakery or our bakery.

But, you know, with a lot of new people
kind of moving into the area and a growing

you know, we still get some people coming

in and go, I didn’t know you
guys had a east look sharing.

you know, it’s kind of we’ve got kind

of our core group of customers
that write in every weekend and stuff.

And obviously you get new people coming
in and out of town, people and stuff.

So, yeah, it’s taken some time to kind
of grow that customer base over there.

you know, we were starting to really get

rolling right before everything
started happening with.


Everything’s coming to a halt now.


We’ve still been kind of busy,
you know, on the weekends.

We’ve been like super busy Saturdays.
Sundays, really.

That’s cool.
You know, during the week,

like Monday through Thursday,
it’s been, you know, pretty slow.

But I think that’s just with a lot
of people kind of working at home now,

not getting donuts for the office
and wanting to get donuts for the office

if they are, because, you know,
people’s people touching stuff.

So we’ve been doing some stuff as far as

like individually bagging products,
sharing, kind of doing that.


Yeah, I don’t know.
It’s been interesting.

All right.
So tell me, do you.

Are you essentially taking over?

I guess the management side or where?

So I mean it.

Right now.

So my grandparents are still kind
of involved with the business.

You know, they kind of do a lot of stuff
out of their house as far as like

paperwork and making sure they’re
paying bills and stuff that.

But we’ve kind of tried to ease them out
of things just because they are getting

older and they don’t need
to be working every day.


Got me to do that.

So actually, my dad, he worked at FedEx
and retired and started working for us.

And he was he’s been doing like deliveries
and doing some like banking at both

locations like that,
like my grandparents were doing and some

of the daily statements
and stuff like that.

So he’s been doing that for us.

And then my mom is actuallya teacher.

I’m in the Madison School District.

So she usually, like on weekends will
kind of help us out a little better.

And then, like during the summers when she
doesn’t have classes and stuff,

she’s been kind of helping
out so to whenever needed.

So we’ve kind of got the whole
family involved of things.


My brother just graduated from school

and he’s been looking for a job, but he
graduated with a physical education

It seems like.

All right.

Well, right now, you know,
he’s looking for jobs.

To where.

A lot of places prior and hiring for.

Because they don’t know what
the situation is going to be.

It is an uncertain world
that we’re in right now.

He’s been he’s been working for us, too.

So, yeah, we got everyone
involved with that.

But the ultimate goal is for me to kind
of take over the business and sure.

Is just kind of aligned like perfectly as

far as, you know,
them kind of getting to the point where

you want to step down a little bit
and meet graduating school and you’re

growing the business and
taking over things.

So that’s fair.
That’s right.

Tell me why you guys chose Eastside
versus West Side or North Side.

So I think with us, you know,
our family is kind of always

lived on the east side of Madison.

So I think that kind of factored into it.

A little bit.
I mean.

I mean, you said so, I’m told.


You know, I think too, with like,
you know, like I was saying before,

a lot of the areas around medicine are
kind of certain explode as far as growth.

So I think, you know,
with just looking at like how much some

prairie was growing, we kind of wanted
to be in that area a little bit.

And I think just as far as like, you know,
having that downtown location,

it was a pretty good distance away
from that, that we really enjoyed it.

And I think, you know, with, you know,
my future, I’m only twenty seven.


So I don’t really see
the business getting any smaller.

You know, I’ve got this I think, you know,
my ultimate goal would be to kind

of eventually get like a location,
maybe West Side or shareowner over there.

There’s been a lot of good stuff going

on like the last three years as far as
the relocation and getting the East Side

location, where
that’s probably not in the horizon

anytime, you know,
in the next couple of years.

But, you know, down the road, I’d like to
pray you get another location somewhere.

So we kind of cover all of Madison, right?


yeah, I think the big thing was just kind
of our family being from the east side

of Madison, kind of wanting
to be close to that.

So that’s fair.
Yeah, that’s fair.

I want to ask you about
the equipment needed for a bakery.

Yeah, because I feel like there’s
got to be hugely capital intensive.

That’s pretty much, you know,

and like the main expenses as far as you
know, when we had to when we had to move

our region’s relocation, we will do
going to relocate a lot of that stuff.

We went from just having the old Regent
Street to getting a whole new location.

We had to kind of find all new equipment.

We didn’t have that stuff sitting around.

So do you just walk me
through what is needed?

There’s a mixture, I imagine.

And mix.

You’ve got two mixers at both locations.

We got one bigger one that we
use for like our raised dough.

Like our frostings and stuff.

And then we’ve got kind of a smaller one

that we use for like our
cake donuts and like our old fashions.

So fans.

And drinks now.

So now they’ll take an old fashioned.

They’re going to be alone.

It’s a short one.

So yeah, we’ve got the mixers.

We’ve got obviously the fryers that we

fry or doughnuts and sure
we’ve got one fryer at Regent Street

and then we’ve got two fryers
at the Eastside location.


And then we’ve got proof boxes for like
our Ray’s donuts and fritters.

It’s basically just like a sauna for like

the doughnuts to kind
of help them rise and get.

Oh, really?

I don’t know anything about that.

So it’s kind of like
same thing with bread.

They’ve got four proof ovens for that.

And then like our
shitters that we use for,

for cutting like there is doughnuts.
It’s kind of tough to, like,

explain a lot of stuff, like you’re just
you and me without leisurely sharing it.

So this is who I have to to buy.

But for now, we just
live with what we have.


So when you talk about big mixers
versus little mixers, how big is big?

We’ve got like 80 court big mixer.

And then like a 40 chord small mix here.

That’s so huge.
Forty four.

You’re talking ten gallons.

So that’s that’s a lot of fashion.

When you say old fashioned, you mean.

So those are like.

Let’s see.
So we do five different flavors of them.

They’re kind of like a cake, don’t it.

They’re dunkers.

So you’re talking about the basic Gruntal.


Kind of like flare out a little bit.

So guys are like the old fashioned donuts.

We do them like sour
cream is like the base.

That’s like a regular one that we share.

And then blueberry cherry
chocolate and apple cinnamon.


Our main old fashions and those
are actually probably like our most

popular doughnut that we do
the regular and blueberry ones.

Okay, so that’s kind of our main product.

We do for like our wholesale to surance.

So we do those in six packs
and then we do like our

big fritters in like a package
too for like the grocery store.


That’s cool.

So how much of the process was manual

that has now been automated or
will that make thing with us too.

I mean everything as far as like the
doughnuts, like we do everything by hand.

Pretty much.

So like all of the doughnuts,

a lot of the places like QuickTrip
in these big production.


Got like the fryers that kind
of manually flip it.

Well sure.
To you know, fire itself.

But everything as far as our doughnuts

is either dispense or dropped in or
flipped by hand buyer whiteflies.

So it’s pretty labor intensive.

Sounds like jobs.

But you know, that’s kind of what makes it
special to just because it’s not like a

cookie cut during it and it’s got
some love and hard work put into it.

That’s fair.

That’s fair.
Is tough to find employees then?

No, not really.

I mean, we we’ve got probably around
close to 30 employees.

But do you really both locations?

Well, about half of those
are full time employees.

Half hour kind of part time employees.

A lot of them are students.

So with our downtown location,

we get a lot of UW students
that worked for us for a few years.

And then once they graduate
and move on and find other jobs.


we just we get a lot of those.
And then for the East Side,

we’ve got a few like MTC students
that work for us part time.


And then as far as like our full time
production people,

we have kind of had like the same core of
those workers for sure, numerous years.

We’ve got a really good group of full
time workers that work for us.

And well, it’s also our big thing with our

full time, we pay 100 percent health
insurance for all of our full time people.

And then we pay pretty well, too,
for insurance and people, too.

So we’ve got a pretty good, loyal, OK
workforce that, you know, stick around.

We’re not sure.
And it’s cycling people in and out.

So that’s kind of how you get.

That big aspect for our business, too,

is kind of having people familiar
with the production business.

So health care has been an issue since


However, I guess as far as the cost goes,

I’ve heard a lot of business books and
they were complaining about it forever.

Like, I’m looking I’m reading in the sky.

Oh, I think it’s called
the Great Game of business.

And I’m reading this book.
Super interesting book.

I rebuilds.

Engines for Caterpillar, whatever.

And he’s complaining about
the cost of health insurance.

I was like one of his written 1992.

I thought, oh man, this guy
could see the premiums now.

Yeah, it’s crazy.
I mean, that’s kind of been our focus.

You know, even like the last few years

to where we’ve been like
growing more people.

But, you know, we’ve kind of wanted
to keep that aspect, you know,

because we think see that as an important
thing externally with our,

you know, full time people kind of,
you know, getting married and getting kids

and whatnot, where we want
to kind of have that as a

kind of a rock for them to kind of rent,

you know, not only help them up to kind
of keep them around for us to share.


you know, I think a lot of people don’t
realize, especially if you never had

to pay your health insurance,
you know, expensive.

It is.
And yeah.

Yeah, it’s definitely a nice
perk for our full time.


Well, has it been tough to maintain
them through even the past decade?

I mean, it’s expensive, but, you know,
I think it’s kind of our main

thing that we do for the employees
as far as benefits.

I think that’s been it’s expensive,
but I think that’s just kind of you know,

you’re kind of shy to keep
it that way for guys, so.


Yeah, fair.

Let’s call.

So I guess what do you see
in the next let’s call it?

It’s gonna be a tough question to ask or

answer right next five years,
presuming the things

you want to say, go back to normal.
I don’t know what normal would be.

And I feel like after it’s been
this way for a few months.

Yeah, this is normal.

I don’t think we can maintain that.

Yeah, whatever.

So I guess where do you
see the business going.

We’ll call.

I mean, like I said,
I don’t see you get any smaller.

You just with the last few years.

Looking back at like financials and stuff
like that, we’ve had continuous growth.

Have you really.

Oh that’s awesome.

And it was,

you know, in the last probably six, seven
years as far as the business itself.

Obviously we’ve added the East Side

location, but the business itself,
as far as volume, we’ve doubled.

So we’re in six, seven years.

You doubled.

What do you attribute that to.

I don’t know.

I mean, I think it’s there’s
a lot of aspects in looking good.

Like I said, just like with adding the
second location, I’m sure that’s helped.

All right.

And I think too, which is how much
Madisons kind of grown over that period.

That’s fair, because I think
that’s kind of helped it, too.

As far as like our wholesale accounts,
too, that’s kind of grown over the years.

So we when we moved to the Eastside

we picked up a few more accounts just

because we had a little bit more
ability to do that mass production.

So sure, we picked up Woodman’s,
which has been a nice account for us.


So we’re just in the three Woodman’s
in the Madison area right now.

So there’s some prairie east and west side

and then that’s kind of,
I guess what the next five years.

I’ve got a few things that I’ve kind
of want to do as far as like growth.

I think expanding kind of that wholesale

aspect of things
and getting into some more

grocery stores and stuff.

I think that’ll kind of help us out.

So we’ve been kind of looking
at possibly getting

some kind of distribution for,

like maybe all the Woodman’s or try to get
into some more

maybe stores down in like the Milwaukee
or Assurance in, you know, area maybe.

So that’s kind of

a thing we’ll be looking at down the road.

And I think to we’re actually working

on it right now, but we’re
adding our own branded coffee.


So we’re actually we haven’t
really made public yet.

Well, you

know, I mean, we’re
gonna be announcing it.

We’ve been kind of waiting for it.

It was kind of in the works before
the whole Colvard situation.

And then once we did kind of shut down our

retail, we kind of put it
on the back burner for sure.

It’ll bit okay.

So we’ve partnered with True Coffee Shop
and they’re based out of Fitchburg.

So they’re going to be doing
our own brand of coffee for it.

And we’re doing an Italian blend and then

a donut shop blend where it’ll have
our own logo and everything on it.

And the best thing about it, too,
is we hadn’t really talked about yet.

But we’re a kosher bakery.

I was just yeah, actually, I was good.

The best thing about it, too, is that
they’re kosher, so it’ll be your coffee.

So it’s kind of a whole weird kabuki

with the kosher, but we can kind
of talk about that a little.

I would love to because I have no idea.

So we’ll beearly next week.

We’ll be kind of we’ve been waiting
for the coffee to kind of get situated

and we’re gonna be doing
like our own retail bags.

So we’ve been doing some, like
labeling and bags and stuff like that.

We’re kind of waiting on sort of true
take care of it or you guess.

So they’ll be kind of doing everything

for us as far as like
manufacturing company and stuff.

So and then as far as like distributing
all that and like Hollis and then selling

it by the cops and by retail
bags and both of our locations.

It’s going to be cool.

I mean, we were doing

we did some as far as coffee.

It was SEGRA.

It’s kind of like a worldwide brand.

I mean, it’s good coffee,
but I kind of wanted to

look at getting something local.

So I think a lot with Madison, especially
a lot of people like to support local.

That’s fair.
And I think we wanted to kind of partner

with a local business
to kind of share collab.

I’m getting like a Greenbush
coffee rageous for us.

So they kind of like worked out perfect

with the coffee distributor as far as,
like, setting it up and stuff.

So our plan is it kind of eventually,

you know, reach out to our wholesale
places out we’re in right now as far as

selling our donuts and adding
the coffee to it, too.

And then with our stores to be selling it
right by the cup and by the retail bags.

So that’s cool.
So it was the idea for that.

What did you have to come up
with a recipe or something like this?

Or do they have you know,
they kind of helped us sell.

We actually went to their Roseberry

a couple weeks ago,
kind of check out their process of it.

And it’s kind of like the same thing

with donuts as far as like
the production of donuts.


You don’t really ever get
to see people roasting coffee.

So we ended up going there.

Never kind of.

We tried out a few different.

Mixes that they did as far as flavorings

and stuff like that, and we kind of got
to decide what flavorings we liked.

Sure better.

So we kind of chose out
the different donut shop.

Blend in Italian blend.
That’s cool.

And yeah, it was kind
of a cool process to see.

You know, I said a few different coffees.

What makes an Italian coffee?

I think it’s I mean,
as far as my understanding,

as far as like the different beans
that they use just for different

to mix up and kind of do
different flavoring.

Qahar is like the locations
of where the beans come from.

The whole coffee thing is kind of a new
thing, a new aspect of it for me.

Yeah, I learned a lot when we
went there that want to share.

So yeah, they’ve got different beans

from different locations of the world
where they kind of done different like

mixtures of to kind of add
different flavorings to show

their Italian coffee beans.

And I know I think it’s just kind of like

the name that we came up
with some oregano in there.

So the coffee shop coffee
in comparison to the Italian coffee.

I’m sorry, they’re doing it on a chaplain.

Coffee shop.
Yeah, the donut shop blend, I guess.

What is the difference between the two?

The donut shop blend is a little bit more

lighter of a roast, so the Italian
blends a little bit darker.

So punch in the face.
Yeah, go on.

Those are kinda too big.
I like that.

Donut shop is just chill.

You know, kickback.
Enjoy your coffee.

Don’t shop blend and some donuts.
That’s awesome.

So will you be selling
that wholesale as well?


That’s a plan where you try to get that
at all of the grocery stores that in.


So we’re we’re still kind of waiting
to reach out to them out.


To kind of get some
of the retail bags in hand.

That’s kind of what we’ve been waiting

on right now, is kind of getting
that gotcher that up.


you know, once we kind of get that all
taken care of and that’s kind of why we’ve

been waiting to kind of roll
it out in our stores, too.

I want to share and have everything kind
of put together at the same time as far as

the coffee and the retail bags.

So we’re hoping sometime early next week

we’ll be able to kind of roll
that out at both locations.

Super cool.


So for those listening,
that means right about now.

All this thing air.

Give or take a few days.

That’s cool.

And we’ve been we’ll be posting
everything on our social media.


As far as when we do that and I
think we’ll probably,

you know, do some promotions as far as
like maybe do like a weekend where we kind

of give out some free
coffee to customers that come in.

To kind of get people to try it out and.

So that’s cool.

Yeah, that’s cool.
Zameen, you’ll have a little a

little carton’s to bring
to the office and stuff.

We, we’ve never really done that.

I mean we might get into doing that.

That’s the other thing too.

I think we’ll kind of see how things kind
of play out with the charades like

the Colbert situation is
like offices and stuff.

If people are gonna be interested
in doing something like that.

Right, we might have that as
an option for customers.

Mm hmm.

You know,
I guess on a shift in to talking a little

bit about the corvids stuff
that you’ve done, the East Side store.

Zis that store.

I’ve been there and you have

a lot of space, you know,
and there seem not a ton,

but enough that you could certainly be
away from each other.

Have you remove those tables.

Are they still there.

So we haven’t been having
any seating for us to.

It’s not like the seating was like
a necessity for our business.

A lot of the business that we do is kind
of people just coming in real quick,

picking out their donuts and then
heading off to wherever they’re going.

The way I kind of see the seating is just

kind of an added bonus for us,
you know, and it’s kind of cool.

Like on the weekends we would get
a lot of families to come in and.


Hang out and grab some donuts
and a carton of milk and go.

So we would do.

It was an excuse to go somewhere.

So it was nice to have that.

So we’ve for right now, obviously,
we’re just not dealing with the seating

chart just to kind of protect
the business and our customers.

It’s the best thing to do.

And then we’ve kind of set up both
locations for precautions and rules.

As far as

limiting as many, we’re only letting
five people in at a time for customers.

So, like on the weekends, we kind of,

you know, during when we’re busy,
we get a little bit of people waiting

outside, which for us, it’s not
too big of a problem just because it is

such a quick process as
far as people coming in.

They’re doughnuts and just leaving.


So it’s not like people are
waiting super long for donuts.

And then as far as like

other things we’ve kind of implemented,
we’ve got some shields in front of like

our PBS stations kind of protect our
employees and the customers and add.

Base there.

And then we’ve kind of taped off as far as

like spots to kind
of distance the customers.

And then we’ve taped off in front of,

like the cases and put some roads
and stuff and find the cases.

So people aren’t kind of like leaning over
the cases and just staying away from.

Our guests are our employees.

Yeah, it’s been kind of.

Just, you know, the city’s kind of set out
their guidelines and information as far as

us to follow, and we’ve
done everything that we should.

And then beyond as far as trying to

keep us safe environment for not only our
employees, but the customers come in and.

You know, we’ve always kind of took pride

in as far as keeping it clean and the
environment in the retail area.

And we’ve kind of just implemented some

more rules as far as frequency of wiping
things down, ensuring cleaning things.


yeah, it’s been interesting,

kind of just trying to it’s been weird
here, abide by things and try to,

you know, do what’s best for everybody,
but also to keep the business going.



So who I want to ask you,
who’s doing the sales?

Are you running around
to the grocery stores trying to.

So, I mean, we’ve had like our most of our
wholesale accounts, like in place for

quite some time.

It’s not really like you’re there to,
like, sell them on stuff they’ve had,

like, their set numbers
that we get them every week.


And then we’ve got
a wholesale manager that

as far as keeping track of,
like numbers at both locations,

I’ve he’s doing deliveries
or my dad’s doing deliveries.

We kind of keep track to see
how things fit selling out.

We’ll kind of bump them up a little bit
or it’s they’re getting some waste.

We kind of cut back
the numbers a little bit.


So as far as like the wholesale
accounts and stuff,

I go around, you know,
sometimes if we’ve got people reaching out

to us about adding us as a wholesale
account, you know, I’ll either reach out

to them over phone or stop by and drop
off some samples or something.

They reach out to you.

We’ve had yeah, we’ve had it actually
wouldn’t vesicle Woodman’s actually

reached out to us about
getting us into their stores.

Well, it was the sumptuary
store reached out to us and then that led

into getting to all
the Madison stores here.

So yeah.

I mean, I go around and kind of Rechelle,

we’ve added some like
churches over the years, too.

And a lot of it is people kind of reaching

out to us about adding,
oh, that’s for you.

That’s been in the local things
like churches that we do.


So we probably have about
12 to 15 different churches that we were

doing product to get on a Sunday shirt
kind of on and off.

Some of them were like every
week somewhere like every other.

Like once every month or so.

So that’s kind of came
to a halt too, right?

So I mean, a lot, Don.

I mean, I don’t know what
churches are doing now.

Yeah, well, I think some of them

are kind of limited in capacity.

But it’s another aspect, too,

of not wanting to have products kind
of where people are picking through it.


So we start is then you
stick your finger down.

It started to ease back a little bit.

Some we’ve got a couple of the accounts

back, but they
also don’t want to kind of force people

to start bringing it back,
especially if people aren’t comfortable.


I know, too, it’s, you know,
worrisome to kind of have the virus kind

of come back and things
start to shut down.


You know, it’s it’s tough
not having that business.

But I also want people
to kind of be safe to.

Just fair.

Have any of the riots or protests or stuff
like that challenge your business at all?

No, not really.
Does it?

Yeah, we’re out of the fray.

Yeah, we’re kind of tucked
away a little bit.

Were there.

We’re not really close
to like State Street book.

You know, I was worried
a little bit there for a while.

I think a lot of people
in Madison were worried.

But yeah.

So, yeah, we didn’t have
anything happen with that.

That’s good.

Yeah, that’s good.

One less thing.

There’s so many headaches going on.

So I guess you have a favorite on it.

There’s a few.
I mean presumably.

Greenbush be agreed.



I really don’t really eat
donuts too much to be honest.

Like I obviously I’ve had my gosh every
single donat one year, 500 pound.

When you’re around it every day,

like it’s not like I go to work every
day and eat two to three doughnuts.

But you know, every once in a while take
a bite out of a doughnut while there.

And if I did choose, I would probably say

we do like a Auriel cream filled donut
that’s probably somewhere up there.

And then just like a cake doughnut with,
like, just chocolate frosting.

Relatively sure there, too.

So that’s cool.

We do a maple blueberry
cake doughnut, too.


And that’s when they’re like
fresh out of the fryer.

There’s like nothing better than that.

All right.

So who comes up with the recipes and stuff
like that for new stuff that you do.

So we really don’t do too
much like new product.

It’s kind of just been like
the same stuff over the years.

And we’ve added some new,

like fillings and different flavors
and stuff like that over the years.

But a lot of this stuff’s
kind of been in place for

We’re kind of just been doing the same

stuff and just adding here in there
and try and some new stuff.

But we don’t really get too wild as far

as, like, adding all these
different candy bars.


No bacon on top of a donut
hole that’s kosher.

We can’t we can’t do any meats.

We didn’t get a kosher.

Let me ask about bacon a lot,
but I’ve had some bacon doughnuts.

I like bacon, but I’ve had bacon
topped doughnuts and like,

I don’t really think there’s anything.

Now, that’s just it’s kind of like.

Because when you have bacon,
it’s, you know, warm and.

You know, greasy.

But when you get it on a doughnut,
it’s kind of cold.

And most of time it’s like chewy.

And you’re like, yeah,
there’s is opposing ideals.

I suppose they do.

But bacon is I mean,
a lot of people love bacon like grant

white people, but with us being kosher,
we can’t have any meats in our facility.

So we went to zero meat such as pig.
Yeah, zir.

We’re kosher dairy.

So, okay, we can’t do any any
meats in our production facility.

So tell me, what is kosher work?
What’s the definition?

So who base their certification?

So we have a rabbi.

That comes every year to recertify us.


So basically the best way to describe
kosher, it’s kind of just like another

form of supervision
to kind of ensure quality.


So every product that we use as far as
like our mixes and flour and stuff like

that and fillings, anything that goes into
the process has to be kosher certified.

So if you go to like a grocery store,

a lot of places, a lot of like products
that they have there are kosher.

They just don’t advertise it, you know.

But if you go look on like cereal boxes,

they’ve got the little symbol on there
that they’re culture certified.

So a lot of things are kosher.


But as far as like bakeries,
there’s not really any kosher bakeries.

So that’s kind of a cool aspect
that we kind of pride ourselves with.

Sherman kind of advertise.
So we.

Back to like the rabbi.

Things that he has to come every year.

To both locations and kind of just check

over to make sure that we
haven’t added any new products.

That wouldn’t be kosher certified.

And then just kind of checks in to make

sure everything’s gonna
go on smoothly with it.


And then

that was kind of a learning process for me
too, because when we came to the

Eastside location
most of the time with like the region

street, he would just kind of come
in and check things once a year.

And then with the East Side,
he to come and bless like the East Side

location and make sure everything
was kind of set there.

So what we had to do was with our fryer,

we had to put water in it
and make it come to a boil.

And all of the

like, even utensils that we used to.

So nothing can come in contact with,
like, meats in the past.

So if we were to bring in let’s say we
brought in like some old,

like equipment and stuff like that to be
sanitized so that it wasn’t

in contact with meats before and then
it was being used in our facility.

And everything that we get is new as far

as like utensils and stuff like that,
where it wasn’t a problem.

But what we do when we had the East Side,
we had to bring water to a boil

in the fryer and everything that we had as
far as like utensils and pans and stuff

like that, we had to submerge
into the boiling water.

So it was sanitized.

So, yeah.

So it seems like it’s more a sanitary
thing versus a religious thing.

I mean, except for the rabbi.


And we get a lot of people ask us to for
it for our family’s Jewish, but we’re not.

But my grandpa was reached out to the

Jewish community about getting kosher when
he first bought the business assurance.

So it kind of started like right away when
he was down at the region street location.


So, yeah, I would say it’s more of just
like a quality control and sanitary.

So so the the grease that you use is not

animal that has to be
vegetable or whatever.

So we use a trans fat free soybean oil.

Fry grease.

And it’s kind of like a
we actually switched over to this.

And it probably was four or five
years ago to this fragrance.

So the way things are kind of

changing is you can’t have any
trans fat fry grease.

We kind of got ahead of the curve

with that where we switched over
to this trans fat free fry grease.

Is that a Kosher thing? Or is that a.
Yeah, it’s kosher.

The world’s getting fat.
Oh, yeah.

It’s kind of like a

nationwide thing where
they’re switching over to it.


so, yeah, we switch over this fry
grease where it’s trans fat free.

And we were actually like the first people

in Wisconsin to start using
this fry grease. Really.

And now so it was kind of like

we actually went up to one of our
suppliers, to their

facility to kind of test it out to see how
it kind of affected the doughnuts.

But we didn’t notice any difference.

And when we switched it over,

we didn’t have any complaints as far as

like the change in the taste of doughnuts
like and you couldn’t even tell.

OK, so because a lot of times if you’re
using like a cheaper fry greaser.


Switch your friary so you’d be able to
notice, like, the difference in the doughnuts.

Yeah, but when we switched
over we didn’t have any

any complaints about anything,

if anything, it’s kind of turned out
better as far as wow doughnuts themselves.

That’s cool.

So and that’s kind of like a you
know, a big thing, too,

is having that trans fat free and having
that high quality fry grease where,

you know, it’s not leaving like
an oily, doughnut, for you.

That’s gotta be rare.

Yeah, I feel like any doughnuts.

I mean, we fry everything.


You know, it’s it’s not like
we have oily doughnuts at all.

Just kind of.
A lot of a bit

bakeries in Wisconsin too.

I’ve kind of heard of started
switching over to this.

Fry grease too so it not use partial for this

and then kind of use a different
fry grease for the others. Sure.

So now I’m curious.

I like metrics and stats
and stuff like that.

You have any idea how much grease you use
in a given week, month, whatever?

I wouldn’t say we probably

we probably go through

like four or five, 50 pound

blocks of fry grease. It comes in blocks?

comes in like solid form.

That’s cool stuff.
We need to know, right.

We go through a lot of fry grease.


But were also making a lot of donuts
too. Totally understand.

I don’t know how else you make a donut.

So that’s cool.

I’m just picturing this
guy opening up this huge

soybean oil.
Yeah, that’s cool.

Well, awesome, man.
I appreciate you being on the show.


I got one other question, I guess.

Well, we end it here.

You’ve been with this business,
since essentially you’re crawling.

So you probably learned some stuff.

Is there anything,

a piece of advice that you’d give
to someone that is considering starting

a business of any kind that you’ve
learned over the course of the year?

I think the biggest thing, you know,
you I think was schooling.

I think the biggest thing with,

like schooling is learning kind of time
management and kind of socializing.


And then as far as like business side

of things, a lot of it’s
kind of learn as you go,

especially when you’re very kind of like

specialty trades,
especially like doughnuts.

Like you don’t learn anything like that in
college as far as like business specific.

But it’s kind of just kind
of learning as you go.


I think that’s the biggest thing,
is just having that experience and kind

of having new situations kind
of challenge you to kind of.


You know, learn and kind of, you know,
girl great with the business.

So that’s kind of been my biggest thing,
is just kind of having these little things

pop up where, you know,
like, OK, what do I do here?

And then my grandpa has been like
a perfect guy to kind of uses like,

hey, what should I do
in this situation?

Or hey, this is broken.

Like, what should I do for that?

He’s so handy as far as, like,
fixing stuff where he’ll kind of

come in and fix pretty much
anything with no tools or anything.

He knows exactly what needs to be done.

And that’s kind of been the biggest thing
for me, is kind of learning how everything

kind of operates and learning
every aspect of the business.

You kind of have a full
grasp of everything.

Sure, yeah.
That’s cool.

Yeah, that’s cool.
I love it.

This has been Authentic
Business Adventures.

The live version

brought to you by Sun Prairie Community
Studios through Bank of Sun Prairie.

My name is James Katamon

and Authentic Business Adventures is
brought to you by Calls on Call,

which we’re in their office because of our
receptionist or their home offering,

calling, answering services for small
businesses across the country

and Draw In Customers Business Coaching,
offering business coaching services to

entrepreneurs in all stages of their

as well as the Bold Business Book,
a book for the entrepreneur in all of us

available on Amazon and wherever
fine books are sold.

We’d like to thank
Taylor. Thank you so much for being on the show

this is super cool.

Thanks for having me.
Where can people find you?

The two locations.

So we’ve got
our one location on Regent Street.

It’s 1402 Regent Street.

And it’s in the store front on the Regent
apartments right across from Sconny Bar.


And then our East Side location
is on High Crossing Boulevard.

So it’s kind of right over by Mr.

Brews and Steinhafels and all
the car dealerships over there.

All the cars, the car alley there.


So and then we’ve got a list of like all
of our wholesale accounts on our website

that we’re in four grocery stores so we
can find you wherever they are, you know.

That’s cool.

Find us airing at 103.5
Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m.,

Sundays at 2:00 p.m.,
as well as SunPrairieMediaCenter.com.

Past episodes, as a reminder,
can be found morning,

noon, and night at the podcast link
found at drawincustomers.com.

Thank you for listening.
We’ll see you next week.

I want you to stay awesome.

And if you do nothing else.

Enjoy your business.
Thanks, man.

Thank you.

This has been cool.
Was good.





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