Houston, TX

Shipley's Best Donuts in Texas Goes Nationwide & Break Ground For New Headquarters in Houston 's Third Ward

Clarence Walker

Shipley's Best Donuts in Texas Goes Nationwide & Break Ground For New Headquarters in Houston's Third Ward.

By Clarence Walker

Shipley's Hot Glazed DonutsPhoto byShipley's Facebook

The optimist sees the donut; the pessimist sees the hole, according to Oscar Wilde.

So, without much ado, welcome to donut holes, Shipley's Donuts.

Shipley Do-Nuts recently celebrated over 85 years in business with a groundbreaking ceremony for its new 60,000-square-foot corporate headquarters at Cullen and Gulf Freeway in Houston. The site is well-known to Houstonians as the location of the old Finger Furniture flagship showroom and, before that, Buff Stadium, home to minor league baseball's Houston Buffalos from 1928-1961.

A representative told NewsBreak the new facility should be completed this year.

The state-of-the-art facility, slated to open in the last quarter of 2022, will feature a full working flagship Shipley Do-Nut shop with an interior drive-thru going right through the building that will provide a unique look behind the scenes into the making of "The World's Greatest Do-Nut." The headquarters will be named the L.W. "Bud" Shipley Jr. Support Center, after founder Lawrence Shipley's son, who grew the brand from a local family business to a chain of nearly 200 locations.

Shipley Donut Founder Lawrence ShipleyPhoto byFindaGrave

"Bud Shipley was the visionary behind the company's initial growth, and it's only fitting that our new support center, which we're building to accommodate our growing company, be named after him," said Shipley Do-Nuts CEO Clifton Rutledge. "I can think of no better way to celebrate our birthday than by breaking ground on our headquarters for our next 85 years."

Employees baked the first batch of donuts at 1417 Crocket Street in Houston between the Heights and the White Oak Bayou.

Check Out Shipley's Photo Gallery:https://shipleydonuts.com/about-us/

New Shipley's Donut Headquarters in Houston's Third WardPhoto byShipley's Donut

The two-story building will be home to the company's new state-of-the-art yeast do-nut mix manufacturing facility and a do-nut innovation center, plus office space for about 130 people. It will replace Shipley's longtime Houston headquarters on North Main Street, which the company has occupied for more than 40 years and has since outgrown, with some employees now working from several additional buildings in the area. Shipley has added some 60 corporate employees in the past two years.

The fast-growing brand, now with more than 330 locations, has franchise commitments in place to open an additional 300 over the next five years in Texas, and across the Southeast. It is actively recruiting additional franchisees in new and existing markets, with a focus on increasing its presence in Colorado and Oklahoma. Houston-based Lovett Commercial is the project developer for the L.W. "Bud" Shipley Jr. Support Center, and Bill Higbie is the builder.

Nationwide Franchise

Shipley has made bold plans by expanding its franchise nationwide.

Presently, the chain has 325 locations in 10 different states, including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Mississippi, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Over the next five years, Shipley Do-Nuts plans to open 350 additional locations – effectively doubling their size. New markets on the horizon include Atlanta and Maryland with 25 locations in each. The first Maryland location opened January 9, 2023, and the first Georgia location is set to open during early fall in October 2023.

Additionally, the doughnut chain has signed agreements to open 20 more installments in Texas.

Shipley's Community Involvement

“We will remember 2022 as a banner year for Shipley. We had a tremendous amount of interest in the brand from experienced, multi-unit operators who will accelerate our growth in new and existing markets,” said Shipley Do-Nuts CEO Clifton Rutledge. “We’ve been working fast and furious to upgrade our offerings and guest experience as we introduce the Shipley magic to new generations and regions and continue to build upon this momentum in the new year.”

The company kicked off 2022 by updating its branding to better convey the fun and flavor of today’s Shipley Do-Nuts. The famous Shipley red is now accompanied by new “Do-Happy” branding, a play on the unique spelling of the company name and celebrating the taste of Shipley’s made-fresh-daily do-nuts.

In late summer, Shipley launched a companywide coffee program, offering guests premium Shipley House Blend hot coffee made from ethically sourced Central and South American medium roast coffee beans, plus two flavors of cold brew, Bold Black and Salted Caramel. It is also testing National Restaurant Association Show Kitchen Innovation Awardee Botrista to add flavored lemonades to the beverage program.

When Shipley rolled out its new online ordering program systemwide in 2022, ticket averages increased by nearly 20%. And when the company began testing a loyalty program in its corporate-owned Houston shops, thousands of new members signed up in just weeks. Shipley will introduce the program systemwide in 2023.

Shipley has emerged strong from the challenges of recent years, as evidenced by its recognition on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2023 Franchise 500® list, moving up 13 spots to No. 131, the highest in its category. The industry also took notice of the company’s leadership in 2022. The Houston Business Journal named Rutledge one of its Most Admired CEOs, while CMO Donna Josephson was honored as an Entrepreneur Franchise CMO Gamechanger.

Shipley is actively recruiting franchisees in all markets, with a focus on increasing its presence in Colorado, Oklahoma, Florida and throughout the Southeast. For more information, visit ownashipleydonuts.com.

Shipley was founded in 1936 in Houston, Texas by Lawrence Shipley Sr. and Lillie Shipley. The couple originally named the company Shipley Cream Glazed Do-Nuts, their main product focus was serving hot, hand-cut donuts all day.

In 2019, Lawrence Shipley III sold the company to a private Austin-based investor.

“’My grandfather, father, and I have dedicated our lives to serving Shipley Do-Nuts, our franchisees and our guests,” said Lawrence Shipley III in a press release. “After an exhaustive search, it became clear that Peak Rock Capital was the ideal steward of our business as it pursues the next stage of growth. My family is thrilled to continue as investors in the Company, and we look forward to the exciting growth to come.”

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I am a freelance news reporter, investigative journalist, true crime writer and historical researcher. I write about community news, crime, business, real estate, human interest, entertainment & politics. Expect to get the stories that matters most.

Houston, TX

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