Pickett Street Properties is dedicated to serving the community and is highlighting businesses and community members that are dedicated to doing the same. In this highlight we are excited to share about Side Hustle Doughnuts out of the Georgetown neighborhood in Seattle, WA. Here is their story:
With no kitchen or baking experience, I’m probably the most unlikely doughnut maker you’ll ever meet. For the past 17 years, I’ve worked for some amazing Seattle companies including Nordstrom, Microsoft, Expedia, and most recently Amazon, however, I felt myself getting increasingly burned out on corporate life and wanted to try something completely new, and different.
My significant other, Chris (owner of Lowercase Brewing), and I live above Lowercase’s production facility in South Park where we’re surrounded by spent-grain (a by-product of the brewing process) so we wanted to find a creative use for it. We also realized that Lowercase’s taproom in Georgetown was closed more often than it was open so we wanted to find a way to take advantage of the unused space in the mornings. I happen to love sweets and was convinced Georgetown needed a doughnut shop so we hatched a plan in the fall of 2017 to sling doughnuts and cold brews a few days a week out of the taproom. Within a month we were up and running.
We make mini-doughnuts using some of the leftover spent-grain from Lowercase beers and serve them in compostable egg cartons. Operating as a side hustle, we open for a few hours on weekend mornings at the Lowercase taproom in Georgetown. We also brew our own cold brew in small batches at the brewery and sell it alongside our doughnuts, as well as to some cafes around town.
I wanted to create a doughnut shop where it’s possible to eat a variety of doughnuts without having to commit to just one flavor—like a box of chocolates. Our mission is to create delicious mini-doughnuts while being mindful of the resources around us. We repurpose the leftover spent-grains in our dough, we serve our cold brew coffee in glass mason jars instead of plastic, and we use compostable containers, straws, and cups to serve our products. Similar to Lowercase’s philosophy on beer, we’re also focused on using simple recipes and local ingredients where ever possible.
It’s been quite the journey so far and much harder work than I ever imagined. As a one woman show with no doughnut-making experience, my learning curve has been steep. I started out playing DJ on three 5-quart kitchen aid mixers and eventually graduated to two 20-quart mixers. I used to roll, cut, fry, frost, and fill hundreds of doughnuts by myself in the middle of the night but now I have a small team that helps out. I still have a long way to go but my goals continue to be: hire more folks, increase doughnut production, and expand hours.
I love new projects and I love learning new things, and I feel like I get to do both every day. I’m inspired by other people that have bucked the tide. I love chatting with small business owners and finding out what cool things they’re working on, as well as what creative solutions they’ve come up with to fix problems they’ve encountered along the way. Of course, it’s always fun to commiserate on the woes of small business ownership too. Hearing their stories motivates me to keep going during difficult times. I’ve also been a die-hard Tony Robbins fan for like 20+ years. I remember buying his CDs off the TV in the middle of the night back in the early 2000s. I love that guy.
“He who knows he has enough is rich”
– Lao Tzu
Go check out Side Hustle Doughnuts:
Photo credit to: Camille Docena (IG: @hangryinthepnw)