Rejoice, doughnut lovers.
Student hotspot SLO Donut Company (SLODOCO) is expanding, though owners said they haven’t decided where. The shop’s current location on Foothill Boulevard already expanded to add more kitchen space and an area for large events, but staff manager Amber Clark said that’s just the start.
“This location in particular has seen a ton of new growth within the last couple years,” Clark said. “It’s expanding so much that why not another location?”
Definitive plans are not yet clear for expansion as SLODOCO’s owner is analyzing data to determine which location will be the most successful. Currently, SLODOCO is considering Monterey and Santa Barbara as top choices. Either location would be named after the respective city followed by “Donut Company.”
SLODOCO recently released online surveys to Monterey and Santa Barbara residents asking their opinions on details such the street for the new
SLODOCO’s interest in a college environment is their main motivation for considering a location in Santa Barbara, particularly in Isla Vista, a beachside community that many University of California, Santa Barbara students traffic.
“If we build in Santa Barbara, we are looking to either build in residential or close to the campus,” SLODOCO manager Nina Vo said. “But with the success of SLO’s being near campus, I feel that [the latter] would be the better option.”
Because Isla Vista has a more concentrated student population than San Luis Obispo, SLODOCO management said choosing that location would mean considering nightlife culture in the area and possibly changing the way the shop caters to customers.
Clark also said SLODOCO receives a lot of business from families with young children and Sunday morning church-goers. This is the motivation for considering a Monterey location.
“If we did Monterey, it would be a lot more chill and family-oriented,” Clark said. “This idea [of the expansion] has been figuring out which of those groups we want to target.”
SLODOCO’s success has grown exponentially with their blossoming music scene featuring local artists, addition of new staff positions and designating one position solely to creating custom doughnuts.
“I think that’s what makes us different from other doughnut shops is that we do have our events and activities,” Clark said.
While expansion plans are still being discussed, the main focus for management is deciding which kind of environment they want to create. Whether it be a shop for college students in Santa Barbara, one for families in Monterey or a combination of the two, like SLODOCO, Clark remains confident that the expansion will be successful.
“Maybe one day we’ll have all three,” she said.