Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts opens Austin location

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Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnuts recently opened a location on Austin’s Sixth Street. The shop offers a variety of unconventional doughnuts including the trademark “Voodoo doll.”
Photo Credit: Mike McGraw | Daily Texan Staff

Between the bars on Sixth Street, one of Austin’s newest eateries allows patrons to purchase voodoo dolls, fake penises and “fat blunts” all at once ­— but at this shop, they’re all donuts.  

Portland’s popular Voodoo Doughnuts has brought a kitschy take on the donut to the heart of downtown Austin.

First-time customers such as Steve and Erin D’arcy said the shop’s unconventional donuts including the “Voodoo Doll” in the shape of a customized figurine and the “Cock-N-Balls” in the shape of a large pair of genitals makes ordering
pastries fun.

“These donuts are definitely different from any other donuts you can find in Austin,” Erin D’arcy said. “Not only are their flavor combinations really different, but the shapes and names of their donuts are also really funny.”

Though new to Austin, Voodoo Doughnuts has been a staple in Portland since best friends Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon established it in 2002. Laura Wolken, a long-time Voodoo Doughnuts representative, said bringing their famed donuts to Austin was a no-brainer for Pogsun and Shannon.

“They have always considered Austin a sister city to Portland which made it a perfect fit for a Voodoo location,” Wolken said. “It also helped that Pogsun and Shannon are major music lovers who were already interested in Austin for its music scene. And so far, the enthusiasm of Austinites over Voodoo has proven that they were right about Austin being a good fit for their business.”

Pogsun and Shannon’s love for music has even inspired them to expand their business past donuts. In 2013, they founded Voodoo Doughnut Recordings — the world’s leading doughnut-based recording company. The record label specializes in releasing 7” donut-themed singles.

Pogsun and Shannon’s quirky way of doing things extends to the general atmosphere of Voodoo’s interior. The room is adorned with underwear, donut trees and countless pieces of pop art that maintain the pleasant mood their brand gives off.

“I really like the feel of this interior,” Steve D’Arcy said. “I’m not used to being inside donut shops that look like this. For one, it’s way larger than any other bakery I’ve ever been to, but it also just has a really fun and inviting character to it.”

Cashier Shay King said even though Voodoo has been in Austin for less than a month, it has had no trouble attracting customers. Any given morning or late night, people can find Voodoo’s Sixth Street location packed to the walls with a line out the door.

“We’ve been really busy since our grand opening on Halloween,” King said. “Every day has been insanely busy. Right now, with 50 percent of the tables occupied, is the most empty we have been since our first day of business.”

Some Austin residents have even been waiting since its Portland opening for Voodoo to finally bring a location to Austin. Customer Joyce Garrison, an Austin bartender who makes frequent trips to Portland for cocktail week, has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to try Voodoo’s famed donuts.

“It’s about time they came to Austin,” Garrison said. “Whenever we all go to Portland, we hear about Voodoo Doughnuts non stop but have never had time to pay them a visit, so we’re really excited to finally have one in our hometown.”

Steve D’arcy said he is particularly hopeful for the future of his city’s new donut shop.

“I think this place is really awesome,” Steve D’arcy said. “I think it’s going to do really well, especially here in Austin where people are looking for something different and weird. We made a 30 minute drive from north Austin just to try it and we will definitely be making the trip again.”