When Phil Pomeroy was looking for a job, he decided to go and buy one instead. He and his wife Susan started Donut Nook in the summer of 1976, and ever since then, they have been baking fresh, handmade donuts in the shop each day.
Phil Pomeroy had a history of restaurant management and some natural baking skills, so putting his knowledge to use in his hometown as a business owner was a natural fit. The early years were lean and required some trial and error as they got their footing, but the couple persevered and have since established a positive reputation in the community for the last 43 years. Donut Nook creates a variety of classic donuts as well as a few things that are unique to their shop, including cherry fritters, apple fritters and cinnamon stacks. The shop has a retro, old-school feel and is homey and welcoming. The walls are decorated with photos from around the Northwest that Phil has taken over the years and there is a collection of other things that were brought in by regular customers.
Donut Nook employs 10 people, including Phil and Susan and their daughter Danielle, who works as the manager.
“Most of our employees have been with us 10-plus years,” Danielle said. “Since opening in 1976, our employee numbers have doubled, and our revenue has increased about tenfold. The last decade or so has especially seen a lot of growth. We have also seen a shift in the sort of business we do. Initially, the majority of revenue came from wholesale accounts and less from front-of-house retail. Today, we still deliver to cafés and convenience stores around Clark County, but their numbers have shrunk. However, retail sales have greatly increased.”
Danielle explains that over time, Donut Nook has developed a loyal following with a long-established group of regulars. Over their four decades in business, they’ve been committed to adapting as needed while not wavering on their core business values.
“It’s important to keep up with the times, such as doing more specialty orders like weddings, baby showers and extra-large donuts for birthdays,” Danielle said. “But ultimately, I think we need to remain true to our roots, and that means sticking with quality classics at reasonable prices. I think people like classics and may even find them refreshing when so many other donut shops are trending towards gourmet and/or complicated products at high prices.”
Danielle said that as her parents look toward retirement in the coming years, she thinks a lot about the future of the business and what she can do to maintain quality service and products, as well as keep the distinct atmosphere at Donut Nook. She hopes to branch out a bit with different frosting colors and flavors, as well as add new seasonal donuts and expand their ability to provide custom orders.
“You can sit on the couch or at the bar and read the paper or a book from our little library, and if your kids get sprinkles all over, it’s no big deal,” Danielle said. “I would like to update the decor a bit, but still very much keep the retro vibe. I feel like it is a part of our identity, and the homeyness is a good thing.”