Revolution’s evolution: Decatur doughnut shop expands to Inman Park
This story has been updated.
When Maria Moore Riggs opened Revolution Doughnuts in Decatur in 2012, she had $10 in her bank account and the momentum of a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign behind her.
Previously she’d worked as an independent operator, selling baked goods at farmers markets. The shop was her first foray into running a business and managing people. It was a risk.
“If I didn’t make it in the first couple of months, I would’ve been eating Ramen,” Riggs said.
She made it. Mornings at the shop on West College Avenue are an adventure. The line is usually out the door and servers take customers’ orders while they’re inching up to the cash register. Kids bang on the glass encasing a colorful array of doughnuts.
Now Riggs is taking her business to the next level. She recently signed a lease for a second shop at 745 Edgewood Avenue in Inman Park, an Atlanta community she says is similar to Decatur in many ways.
There are several reasons for the move. The location puts her closer to the freeway and downtown Atlanta.
“On the weekend we do get a significant amount of traffic from outside Decatur and even outside Atlanta proper,” she said.
Riggs also has a desire to create a management team to nurture the culture she’s created so the future of the business isn’t all on her shoulders.
“That was a big piece behind this, because the most stressful thing for me is to go on a vacation and leave the business in the hands of a bunch of hourly employees,” she said. “When you have a management team, people on salary, there’s a lot more commitment. It really builds a team and a family. Hourly people can come and go … That coupled with the fact that we have a lot of people complain that being in Decatur is not close to anything.”
Riggs noted the Decatur shop is close to her home in Decatur, but it’s not big enough to meet the demand.
The Inman Park space will require more work and energy than the Decatur store did.
“This new space is completely raw,” Riggs said. “It’s a whole other ball game in terms of the build out. It’s going to be quite a bit more expensive than the Decatur store. We have to build a kitchen and bathrooms and a front space.”
She hopes to be open by spring of 2016.
While Kickstarter provided the money to start up her business, the success of Revolution has allowed her to expand to Inman through a traditional bank loan.
Before she became successful, banks were skeptical.
“The banks are looking at us like what? Who are you? But the people who were eating our product every day knew who we were and believed in us,” she said.