Franchising Fred Heritage · 8 December 2016
Dum Dum: The luxury doughnut winning hearts and minds at Harrods and London’s Boxpark
In just a few years, food entrepreneur Paul Hurley has used his unique luxury doughnut recipe to transform a simple idea into a major British startup success story, and is now taking on the growing global market for gourmet doughnuts. His artisanal baked luxury doughnut brand, Dum Dum Doughnuts, has experienced rapid growth since launching its first Donutterie, at Shoreditch’s Boxpark, in London in 2014, and Hurley expects year-on-year sales for 2016 to jump 500 per cent. Using all-natural ingredients that are significantly lower in fat than competitor doughnut brands, Dum Dum Doughnuts uses modern baking (rather than frying) techniques to create fresh, patisserie-inspired doughnuts of the highest quality. Although not exactly healthy, Dum Dum Doughnuts? patented baking process, and use of sunflower oil instead of palm oil when cooking, has upgraded the traditional doughnut removing a lot of the junk while injecting it with a touch of class. In May 2014, Dum Dum became the only luxury doughnut brand to be sold in Britain’s opulent department store Harrods, and has since opened stores in Camden Market, Croydon’s new Boxpark and, most recently, Brighton. Business Advice spoke to Hurley to find out more about his plans for the brand, and why he views franchising as the best, most effective way to achieve sustainable growth in a challenging market. Hurley admitted that his early career experience helped him reach the conclusion that franchising was the correct path to take. After university, he began working for F&B, the company behind Dunkin? Doughnuts? UK franchise, working in almost every department of the business over a period of more than 15 years. I learnt everything about running a fast-growing company, he told Business Advice. After many years I realised there was no one in the world who understood the market as well as me and, together with my business partner, decided to brake away and launch my own venture, striving to produce the best doughnut in the world. Franchising, Hurley decided, was the best way to put into action an aggressive rollout plan that has this year seen Dum Dum open its very first international Donutterrie in Dubai, UAE. The brand has proved popular with expats and locals alike, and eight further stores are due to open in the Middle Eastern country over the next two years, with another new store planned in Qatar in early 2017. franchising is a great way to expand the Dum Dum family and make our delicious doughnuts available to more people throughout the world, said Hurley. Getting the product right in the first instance has been key to Dum Dum’s success so far, and Hurley advised any entrepreneur, especially those in food and drink, to make this a priority when starting out. we made many mistakes, over a ten-year period, but now we have a product which is very unique, he explained. Traditional doughnuts are raised with yeast rather than flour, which is cheaper. We are the only brand with a baked product which still tastes like a doughnut, and they’re all handmade. We wanted to make that jump in product quality from the outset.
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.