The sugary rollercoaster continues...just months after the business collapsed like a flan in a cupboard, Doughnut Time is back from the dead. It’s coming for you, Australia, and it’s bringing the gluten-free doughnuts.
Doughnut Time went into liquidation in March (owing workers about $200,000 in unpaid wages will do that, just FYI), closing 23 of its 30 stores. Essentially the owner, Damian Griffiths, expanded too fast, and the whole thing kind of fell apart. Like the Roman Empire.
But there’s an edible silver lining to this misery cake. Doughnut Time has a new independent owner, Pete Andros. He bought it from a third party appointed by the liquidator (apparently, Griffiths didn’t get any profits from the sale, so there you go).
The plan now is to open Doughnut Time back to the masses. To start with, Andros will open a modest five stores nationwide (fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice), including The Myer Centre and Southbank in Brisbane, Burleigh Heads, and Fitzroy and Degraves St down in Melbourne. He says he's got his eyes on two more spaces in Melbourne too.
“I was one of the people standing in line for fresh doughnuts, and when Doughnut Time went under, I saw an opportunity to save a great Brisbane brand,” Andros says.
“It’s no secret that the previous owners expanded too quickly. Nobody from the previous ownership is involved with the relaunch.”
Basically, he’s shooting for a fresh start. Unfortunately, that means there are still 300 ex-employees seeking wages from the old business. Andros says he's "shocked and appalled" at what happened under Griffiths, but that he can't comment too much with the liquidation still in place. On the bright side, some staff have been able to recover wages through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG). If you're one of those people, Pete says you can get in touch directly, or through the liquidator.
"We’re dealing with a lot of the old suppliers," Pete says. "I've been having coffee with them, sitting down and trying to get them back on board. We're offering to pay them up front, just so they feel safe, you know."
So what can you expect from the new-look Doughnut Time? Mostly doughnuts, and hopefully profits. Andros is also keen to modernize the menu: bringing on new vegan, gluten-free and low-sugar doughnuts (plus a few old-time faves). Pete has a background in the health and wellness space, and will be using hemp protein to make Doughnut Time's doughnuts not just tastier, but better for your bulge (that sounded weird). "It's got 20 amino acids, and 10 of the essentials," he says. "It's the best protein source out there."
The new stores will start rolling out from 1 August this year (if all goes to plan). You can follow the latest developments here.
So guys, the Dough is back. Only time will tell...if it will rise.
Image credit: Doughnut Time