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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Top This Donut Bar Negotiating Lease in Fort Thomas

Donuts from Top This Donut Bar. Cake donuts topped with white and pink icing. On the white donut, bacon and potato chips. On the pink donut, Fruity Pebbles. FTM file. 
Cincinnati's first customizable donut bar held its grand opening on Aug. 15 at University Station, near the Xavier University campus at 1774 Lexington Drive in Norwood.

Justin Shelton, Co-Owner of Top This Donut Bar, told FTM that they are in negotiations with the lease right now at the Hiland Building. "Hopefully we can get something done on that in the next week or two. We are working on a location in Anderson right now so we are hoping to get the lease for Fort Thomas done soon so we can literally build them out together. Hopefully within the next three months and definitely by Christmas, we should be open."

Justin Shelton, serving milk from the tap to go with his freshly made donuts. Milk, chocolate, strawberry and almond milk.  FTM file.

The name of the game at Top This Donut Bar is customization.  The customer selects a base pastry, which are prepared on site. Donuts ($1.49), cinnamon roll ($1.79), crispy rice treat ($1.59) or gluten-free cookie or brownie ($1.99). Cookies are made in 9" and 12" pizza-like rounds. A cookie slice is $1.89, a 9" is $12.99 and a 12" is 14.99.

You then choose an icing, toppings and drizzles. Each additional topping is $.25, which include:
Andes Mints, bacon, banana, blackberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, coconut, fruity pebbles, graham cracker, Heath Bar, M&Ms, marshmallow, Oreos, pecans, peppermint, potato chips, raspberries, Reese's, sprinkles, strawberries.

Shelton said that soft serve ice cream will be served with the same topping choices.

Display case. FTM file. 

View the menu here. 

Aside from signing a lease in Anderson and negotiating for a lease in Fort Thomas, they are also negotiating in West Chester. The plan is to open three shops by the end of this year and an additional five next year.

Dan Gorman, who put together a deal to ultimately purchase The Hiland was on the same page as Shelton. "We've agreed to basic business terms and are negotiating the fine points of the lease, which includes getting quotes to build out the space," he said. "If we come to a final agreement and building out the space makes financial sense for everyone, we'd expect them to be open before the end of the year." 

FTM file. 

One of the components of the buildout that Shelton mentioned he liked about the Hiland building, was the possibility of having a garage door that would open and allow for an open air concept. "We'll have a way for you to order donuts from the street. If you're walking heading to a game or for students."

So why Fort Thomas?

"We read the article on Fort Thomas Matters about the attempt to get Holtman's and thought it was great," said Shelton. "We thought, 'Hey, maybe we can step up and give them what they wanted.'"

FTM file. 

Shelton also mentioned the location of Fort Thomas as a reason for wanting to bring Top This Donut Bar to Northern Kentucky.

The restaurant also showcases local artwork, televisions, free Wi-Fi, and charging stations all for customers to enjoy. On line ordering is also available for private events, business meetings or occasion.

"I'm super excited about the possibility of a new donut shop coming to Fort Thomas. I have a feeling this new business is going to be a home run," said Fort Thomas Renaissance Board Chairman, Brian Sand. "I think the sleeper of the whole deal is the soft serve ice cream. This community is going to love this concept.”

FTM file. 
FTM file. 
FTM file. 
FTM file. 
Initial report by The Cincinnati Business Courier. 

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