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Meet Janeen Gudelj of Donut Snob

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janeen Gudelj.

Janeen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Donut Snob was actually born out of an idea I had while sitting on a four-hour Greyhound bus ride. I was taking a kind of “food tourism” trip through Oregon: a trip specifically built around visiting all the big food destinations in a region. On the bus, I read an article that said that Los Angeles had more donut shops per capita than any other city in the United States. This was years ago, so I don’t know if this is still the case, but I was so surprised. Of all those shops, I didn’t know of one that was spectacular or innovative enough to inspire a “foodie journey” like the one I was on. I’m a Los Angeles native and a huge donut enthusiast, so that article really struck something in me. That’s where the idea came from; I wanted to create a donut company in Los Angeles that was a destination unto itself.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has definitely had its speedbumps, but I think that’s the case with all businesses just starting out. After my initial epiphany, I was in culinary school, just sort of fleshing out the business idea and testing recipes. One of my classes required us to come up with a plan for a hypothetical food company or restaurant. I took the opportunity to start building out the website for Donut Snob and really finalize some menu ideas. Somehow a food writer saw the concept website and wrote a piece on the up and coming donut delivery service in Los Angeles. This was before UberEats and PostMates, so it was a really new idea. The article blew up. I essentially launched a business overnight and I was up and running.

Although I’m so grateful for all the exposure Donut Snob gets, initially it blew up so fast and it was just me handling everything. That was probably the biggest struggle for me; starting out and having to manage the whole thing without a lot of help.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Donut Snob – what should we know?
Donut Snob is about taking a favorite classic and making the whole experience new again.

First, we exclusively produce donuts, and this specialization allows us to perfect the process. All of our donuts are hand made from scratch every morning. We use only the freshest ingredients with no artificial dyes or preservatives. We pride ourselves on the attention to detail that goes into every donut, starting with the flavor combinations. We really focus on creating balanced flavor profiles so nothing it too overtly sweet. Next, all of our donuts are hand-dipped, then each one is painstakingly piped and decorated individually. The process takes some time, but the end result is stunning. That’s probably the thing that most sets us apart from the average donut shop; our donuts are as visually impressive as they are delicious.

Our other unique feature is that we don’t have a traditional storefront. Donut Snob is a delivery donut company. We deliver to people’s homes, offices, or to their friends for fun surprise gifts. While a storefront might be in our future, our customers love the convenience of the delivery service we offer.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I think that the people who deserve the most credit for helping me get to where I am today are my family. Without the support of my mom and my significant other I never could have made it through those early days. They were unfailingly supportive of my dream and were even willing to step in when I needed help.

I also want to give credit to some of our earliest customers; they really are the best! So many of our clients have been ordering from us from day one and without their continued support we wouldn’t be where we are today.

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