What Is Sssdude-Nutz?
“Where are all the good doughnuts?” was one of the first questions Bradley Taylor asked after arriving in Minneapolis in 2011 from the West Coast. “I was used to doughnut shops on every corner back in Cali, so I was surprised at the lack of doughnut shops here.”
But rather than tolerating mediocre doughnuts, he began experimenting with a friend’s recipe and making his own. Not long after, he started getting requests from friends of friends. “I was spending more time making doughnuts than going to class,” Taylor recalls.
Although skipping class doesn’t typically pay off, it did for Taylor. This past September, he and fiancÃ©e Ashley Peterson—both recent University of Minnesota grads—opened Sssdude-Nutz in Dinkytown after multiple pop-up experiments near campus.
OK, you’re wondering about the name. The first part came from Taylor’s inability to clearly pronounce “dude” in high school because he had retainers on his teeth. “It came out slurred, as “sssdude,” and after my homedudes kept making fun of me, I just started spelling it like that and it’s been my thing ever since,” Taylor says. The second part is derived from the name he had given the pop-ups, Donutz.
In addition to an unconventional name, Sssdude-Nutz keeps unconventional hours. The shop opens at 7:30 a.m. during the week, 9 a.m. on weekends, and is open until all the doughnuts sell. On Friday and Saturday, S-N re-opens at 9 p.m. for late night revelers.
Taylor markets by handing out free doughnuts and doing catering for the U. “If you have a good product and it’s consistent, word spreads pretty quickly,” Taylor says.
The small shop has two part-time student employees and two bakers. He sells about 120 square doughnuts a day at $2-$3 a piece, and he says the business is modestly profitable.
Taylor credits Alec Duncan of nearby Potter’s Pasties for some of his success. In exchange for volunteer hours at Potter’s, Duncan allows Taylor to use his kitchen, and offers business guidance and mentoring. Taylor is now fundraising to open his own commercial kitchen.
Oh, and then there’s Sssdude-Nutz’s SoCal area code. Taylor uses his personal phone for business. He kept the old number as a reminder of where he’s from.