It looks like Capitol Hill will be hosting one of the country’s most famous doughnut chains in the near future: According to planning documents filed with the city — and noticed first by the Puget Sound Business Journal — Voodoo Doughnuts will be bringing its bacon- and cereal-topped concoctions to the Booker Building on the corner of Pine Street and Minor Avenue.
It’s unclear when the location might open. The building and land use pre-application indicated that there would be substantial renovations to the space, so there’s going to be a fair amount of construction involved.
But if and when Voodoo arrives in Seattle, it’ll be a big name on the city’s doughnut scene. Quirky Portlanders Kenneth Pogson and Tres Shannon founded Voodoo’s first shop in 2003 and quickly earned a reputation for bold flavors and funky toppings, up to and including Pepto-Bismol and Tums until local health officials intervened. Their excessive aesthetic proved to be a hit, and Voodoo is now a chain with 20 locations nationwide and two more on the way in Chicago and Dallas. The Seattle shop would be its second location in Washington State, as it already has one in Vancouver.
Along the way, Voodoo has also become a big business. In 2017 it entered into a partnership with a San Francisco–based private equity and brought on Chris Schultz of MOD Pizza as its new CEO. Last year employees at its original location successfully unionized after a contentious two-year process during which the organizers accused Voodoo of union-busting.
Seattle isn’t hurting for doughnuts, but a lot of the newer-wave doughnut shops in the city tend toward the refined and respectable rather than the kind of zaniness that Voodoo goes in for — the offerings there include not just a bacon-topped doughnut but also doughnuts shaped like voodoo dolls, blunts, and cream-filled penises. (The closest thing to a Voodoo-style place in the Seattle area might be Lynwood’s Zuri’s Donutz.)
“We’re thrilled to finally bring some Voodoo Magic to Seattle,” said Voodoo CEO Schultz in a statement confirming the news. “It’s been many years in the making and the Capitol Hill neighborhood is the perfect site for our first store.”
Update 10/18 11:18 a.m.: This story has been updated to include comment from Voodoo Doughnut.