California Do-Nut Co. Revival Plans Are Scrapped

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PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
It’s a sad day for doughnut lovers everywhere.

Yesterday morning, first-time restaurateur Felinna Love announced that she is abandoning her dream of reopening south city's long vacant California Do-nut Company (2924 South Jefferson Avenue).

Originally opened in 1948, the shop was a neighborhood favorite for children, who would come to watch donuts flip from a machine. Eventually, though, the shop was shuttered and the building was practically abandoned and left to rot.

Even though the town has no shortage of the sugary dunkers, Love's plans to reopen the shop generated a lot of buzz. She vowed to overhaul the building and revive the well-known logo, along with gourmet donuts, with flavors like s’mores and PB&J.

In a surprise Facebook post, Love cited recent hardships with overseeing the building renovations and raising funds, as well as dealing with personal tragedy in her family. “While it is heart-aching to have to admit, I have come to terms with that fact that I am no longer in a position where I can take on the additional challenges and risks associated with opening a new business.”

She relied on two different crowdfunding campaigns through Kickstarter and IndieGogo to help raise funds for business equipment and building repairs. Both campaigns failed to meet their target goals. She asked for $45,000 on Kickstarter and raised just $3,741, all of which was refunded to contributors as a matter of course when a campaign doesn't reach its goal. On IndieGoGo, she asked for $15,000, but raised just $846.

Still, the dream seemed alive. For more than a year, she teased local donut-devotees with reminders that the bakery was still on-track to open in the spring of 2016, even hosting a pop-up event with I Scream Cakes last February and a donut giveaway in March.

In her Facebook post, Love included a link to the auction selling all of the baking gear that she purchased for the project, which include a donut fryer and commercial mixers. Love also included an image of a broken heart in the announcement, further indicating that this was not an easy decision for her.

Love did not respond to our request for comment.

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