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Donut Bar Tucson surviving and thriving one year later

Navigating new business amid the pandemic
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Posted at 6:54 AM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 09:54:21-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — It's been a little over a year since Donut Bar Tucson opened at its downtown location. So far, its entire business journey has been trying to navigate amid a pandemic.

“My brother and his wife are the owners of this location and we were very concerned. Like when that first happened, the shutdown on St. Patty's Day last year. We weren't even open a month. And we were just like, how are we going to even? How are we even going to do this?” Said Brad Mueller, Donut Bar Tucson’s general manager.

Pivoting their business plan Donut Bar started doing curbside orders. Mueller says they would have 20 to 30 orders a day; and for a few months they were only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

“Tucsonans really stepped up. And they're the reason why we're still around today. Like, without them, we would have had to shut our doors, like, a lot of other restaurants have in town,” said Mueller.

Since then, Mueller says foot traffic slowly increased during the 2020 holiday season and it’s been steady ever since with their donut and beer orders.

Donut Bar is looking ahead with newly launched menu items and getting ready for its Easter holiday selection.

“They're gonna be some fun donuts that we have coming up for Easter and then every holiday we have different donuts that we have come out we also have 100 plus doughnuts all overall on our menu and we change it out every week so that you don't come into the same to the same doughnuts all the time so we just have 30 donuts on the menu,” said Mueller.

One part of business Mueller says they’re excited to be able to fully get into is catering.

“We do have a wedding coming up. The bride and groom came in the other day for a tasting, so that's another side of the business that now that the pandemic is starting to wind down a little bit, I mean, hopefully, keep our fingers crossed. But the catering side and all that hopefully we can grow that a little more now,” said Mueller.

And to give back to the community Mueller credits, this family-owned location also did donut donations during the summer - delivering hundreds of donuts to nearby hospitals for staff and to several fire departments for first responders around Tucson.