Woman gives up law career to make doughnuts

MINNEAPOLIS - If it smells like a dream at 36th and Bryant in south Minneapolis that's because it's the spot where a dream became reality.

"I say I'm a recovering attorney now. I'm not practicing at all. I'm a full-time doughnut hawker," said Anne Rucker of her decision to open Bogart's Doughnut Company.

Rucker traded a law degree and a big shot salary for all the dough she can handle.

"Its been crazy hard but also really rewarding and awesome, so I'm confident I made the right decision, but let's see how I feel next year," Rucker said of taking the plunge into starting her own business from scratch.

For six weeks Bogart's Doughnuts, named for Anne's grandmother and great aunt, has been the place to grab breakfast on the south side.

Anne, forever a pragmatist honed her doughnut-making at farmer's markets and tweaked her thoughts about baking-for-hire on her blog.

She sold doughnuts on the weekend at the Kingfield Farmer's Market and got a pretty decent following. It was then that she gave herself a timeline for her doughnut future.

"I told myself if, 'I got through three years and still loved it, then I could start looking for a space,'" Rucker said.

Three years came and she still loved it, so the shop came to be. The space is minimal and the doughnuts are often gone before 9 a.m.

In the first few weeks, the lines would wrap around the block and folks would wait as long as it took just for a taste.

It's uber-trendy to be so in demand, but Rucker didn't and doesn't want to be a fad. She wants to get every customer what they want for as long as she can.

"It was awesome, but it was also very stressful because at the time we couldn't make enough for everyone, people were waiting in line that couldn't even get doughnuts, which was awful for me," Rucker said.

Now with two fryers and a fading 15 minutes, the focus is solely on the brioche dough that takes 18 hours to set and just a few minutes to fry.

It's short supply is only because there isn't enough storage space to make and then store the dough for the long setting time, so they make as much as they can and sell until they are gone.

It's baby steps, something Anne prides herself on with some sage advice for those foodies looking to set up shop.

"Start at a farmer's market. Start with low overhead, test your audience, test your recipes, get tons of feedback before you open a shop. I think that really helped me," Rucker said.

Be practical, but also don't shy away from your sweet side because that just might be where your dreams are sleeping, waiting for their wake up call.


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