It's hard to believe that pastry queen Waylynn Lucas' f?nuts, a project in conjunction with biz partner Nancy Truman, has already been open for one year. With much hype leading up to the launch, and, right off the bat a f?nuts craze which forced the small bakery to shutter and regroup, f?nuts has broken the 8104 W Third Street curse. Ice cream and new later hours of operation recently kicked in, here now Lucas on the past year of business and future expansion plans.
How did f?nuts come to be? f?nuts was Nancy's idea. She is gluten intolerant and loves baked goods. I was a friend and neighbor. Nancy would experiment with different baked goods and bring over things for me to sample. She started making gluten free banana bread and wanted to sell it at a local farmers market. She asked me for help. She didn't think that anyone would buy a whole loaf but she didn't want to sell slices so she started baking her banana bread in a doughnut mold. I thought the idea was genius and adorable. Together we went to a local farmers market and within two hours everyhing was sold out. I decided to call them f?nuts. Poeple were freaking out over them. I was like, let's open a shop called f?nuts. This was January 31 and we opened on August 24.
Were there any delays? Definitely delays. We wanted to open on National Doughnut Day but that didn't happen. We ran into delays with permits and construction.
How many employees do you have? We recently brought on two more people because we are now open until 10 p.m. So, including me and Nancy we have a total of nine.
You do most of the work yourself? I am always here. I do a lot.
You get up at 4 a.m. some days to bake, right? Every other Monday I wake up at 3 a.m. to get here at 4 a.m.
How did the opening go? It was really kind of awesome, actually. There was this buzz and excitement. It was insanity, it was crazy. There was a line out the door an hour before we opened. There was a crazy rush and a sea of people. We had to limit how many f?nuts people could buy or we would have sold out in two hours. The first customers ordered about four dozen. So, we started limiting it to six per person and were sold out by 1:30 p.m. after we had opened at 9 a.m. That continued for the first two weeks. After the first month business leveled off.
Have you encountered any challenges at this location? Some thought it might be cursed. I haven't found any challenges. Once I heard it was cursed I got nervous. But I feel so blessed. The general public has embraced and welcomed us into the neighborhood.
Do you get a lot of celebrities? We get some. Yeah, actually, we get a lot. We get some who send their assistants. Lots of tv shows get f?nuts for the cast and crew too.
Tell us about your favorite customers. My favorite customers... The majority of our customers come every day for coffee and they are our regular customers. We wanted customers to feel like we are welcoming them into our home. Regular customers are our friends. They hang out.
Any strange requests that you've accommodated? I am anti large cakes shaped into a doughnut or f?nut. The first weird thing we did was... someone wanted something crazy and extravagant so I made a f?nut tower. It was gigantic, three tiers covered in f?nuts.
Would you ever open another location? I would love to open another location. Where and when I have no idea. Nancy and I made a pact that we wouldn't start talking about it until we had been open a year. We want to slowly grow and take our time. It took us this long to just extend our hours, we want a smooth sailing ship before adding anything else. Quality and consistency need to be spot on. Over the next one or two years, hopefully.
What are you most popular flavors? Strawberry Buttermilk and Blueberry Earl Grey. Maple Bacon is a big hit too.
You launched ice cream, any other food additions to come in the future? At f?nuts, no.
Does it feel like it's been a year? No. It does not feel like it has been a year. On one hand it makes me happy and on the other it makes me want to cry. Where has the year gone? Everything has happened so fast. But, I also feel like we've been here forever.
What does f?nuts mean to you? It's my passion project. f?nuts is for me the real reason I got into the industry. It's simple, it tastes good, and it makes people happy.
·All One Year In Coverage [~ELA~]