TNT Diner

Top Pot Doughnuts coming to Tacoma

Seattle-based Top Pot Doughnuts will open a store in Tacoma.
Seattle-based Top Pot Doughnuts will open a store in Tacoma. Creative Commons

South Sound sesame? Tacoma tiramisu? Proctor pistachio?

Born in Seattle, the iconic confectionery Top Pot Doughnuts is headed south to a space at Proctor Station.

Born in Tacoma, Top Pot co-founder Mark Klebeck sees the proposed opening as a homecoming for both himself and for his brother – the other co-founder – Michael Klebeck.

“I always thought of the potential,” Mark said Tuesday, following the announcement.

“Tacoma is just a gorgeous town. It’s like Seattle was before it got filled up,” he said. “There’s something really special about Tacoma that it retains so much of its culture and history.”

Top Pot today counts 19 locations, primarily in King County in addition to a pair in Texas.

“We had been looking in the South Sound for a while,” Klebeck said. “We wanted a presence, and we wanted to find the right place.”

The Top Pot Café is scheduled to open late this year. No exact date has been decided, but Proctor Station developer Bill Evans said Tuesday that initial residents of the 151-unit complex will likely be invited to begin moving in come December.

Evans also said announcements concerning new retail tenants will soon follow. He said Walla Walla Clothing Company has inked a deal for retail space, and that two local restaurants and a brewpub have shown interest.

Top Pot Doughnuts, he said, “certainly will fit into the context of a small-business district. A neighborhood business community. Of all the places you can get a good cup of coffee, this is another one.”

The Top Pot announcement follows news that other Seattle-centric eateries are planning a journey to the City of Destiny. Vostok Dumplings expects to open on Commerce Street this year. Elemental Pizza expects to open near the University of Washington Tacoma and, in 2016, Chow Foods will open a cafe near the Proctor neighborhood. Rhein Haus likewise plans to open a Tacoma version of its popular Seattle beer hall in the Stadium neighborhood.

“The North End of Tacoma just seemed like a good fit,” Klebeck said. “Whenever we would announce an opening, people kept asking, ‘Why not Tacoma?’ So here we are.”

He explained the popularity of Top Pot “hand-forged doughnuts” as a combination of the artisanal (“We do a great job with the classics”) and the experimental (“We always try to be innovative, with new flavors”).

For the Tacoma store, he said he will consider making “a nod to the Tacoma Dome.”

He might also consider giving a nod to Tacoma’s Brown & Haley. Combined with a nod to the LeMay Museum, one idea could have Top Pot producing a “Roca Road” bar, museum-shaped, to share billing with a mounded, rounded, custard filled “T-Domenut.”

Growing up in Lakewood meant savoring the delights at House of Donuts, although Klebeck said his favorite Pierce County purveyor was the Golden Oven at Tacoma Mall.

He said the company would begin hiring for both management and barista positions in October or November. For information concerning jobs, visit

Concerning further expansion in the South Sound, Klebeck said, “We’re always keeping our eyes open. We just want to get this one going and settle in.”

Top Pot Doughnuts was founded in 2002 and the operation has been featured on The Travel Channel, Food Network, Cooking Channel and other national media.

As a product of St. Frances Cabrini, Hudtloff and Clover Park High, Kleberg said, “Even though Seattle is my home, I will always have a place in my heart for Tacoma and Lakewood. This is a cool, proud moment.”

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535