Tom and Erin Dobrinski promise that, when Epic Donuts, their new business venture, opens later this month on South Hill, customers will have an experience that is out of this world.
“The buzz is already starting, and we can’t wait to pull the trigger,” Tom Dobrinski said.
When patrons enter the shop, Dobrinski said he hopes they will feel as though they’ve been transported to another galaxy aboard a spaceship. They will be greeted by Epic Eddie, the Epic Donuts mascot, dressed from head to toe in an authentic NASA astronaut suit. Epic Eddie also will visit school sports events, and teams will be able to place custom orders for Epic Eddie donuts decorated with their team colors.
“Epic Eddie is our Mickey Mouse,” Dobrinski said. “Hopefully, you’ll come in and see our shop as a spaceship. We really studied Disney a lot on how to pull off the illusion.”
The Dobrinskis’ daughter is a member of the Emerald Ridge High School swim team, and a while back, Tom Dobrinksi noticed his daughter and her teammates saying how everything was “epic.” He went with the word and suggested the idea for a space-themed donut shop to Erin, his wife.
“We brainstormed all the way to Voodoo donuts,” Dobrinski said. “We were at Disneyland, taking pictures of Space Mountain.”
On their way to Voodoo donuts, the Dobrinskis stopped at the Krispy Kreme on South Hill last year and soon found out that the location was being sold to the Panera Bread Company. The couple decided it would be perfect timing to bring their idea for a unique donut shop to South Hill.
“We want to be the donut shop on South Hill where everyone knows people at Epic Donuts,” Dobrinski said.
Tom Dobrinski has had 30 years of management experience in the restaurant industry. He was critically acclaimed for his management of the Harmon Brewery in Tacoma’s Stadium District for eight years.
“My biggest emphasis is my team,” Dobrinski said. “At the Harmon, we had 25 really good kids working for us, and they executed our plan every day, and they were really good.”
In that respect, Dobrinski said he is looking for young professionals who will be willing to think outside the box and strive for unparalleled creativity.
When the store launches, Dobrinski said there will be about 20 different flavors. They will range from Tasty Treats, which will be old-fashioned or raise-glazed donuts, to Epic Donuts, which will be extreme flavors like Gilligan’s Island, a coconut creme-filled donut topped with chocolate glaze and toasted coconut.
“It will look like a beach,” Dobrinski said.
Prices will range from 99 cents for a Tasty Treat to $1.99 for Epic Donuts. A dozen tasty treats will be $11. A dozen Epic Donuts will be $19.95.
The Dobrinskis also plan to be involved in the community. That might include an Epic Eddie visit to a sports game or community event, where they will cater donuts and coffee.
Erin Dobrinski, who works in real estate, is a former school teacher in the Puyallup School District. Lately, she has been reaching out to school representatives and the chamber of commerce to build a network of partnerships for Epic Donuts.
“She will be doing all of our marketing,” Tom Dobrinski said.
Epic Donuts will open at 12314 Meridian Ave. E. on South Hill. The shop will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. In addition to donuts, coffee, hot chocolate and bottled sodas will be available for purchase. To pre-order donuts, call 253-845-0246.