By Daniel Dotson, DCN Regional Staff
On the morning of Friday, March 24, Georgia’s first Shipley Do-Nuts location held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the state’s introduction to the iconic Houston-based doughnut chain.
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Oziel “Ozzy” Rodriguez, the owner of the new Shipley Do-Nuts, located at 3225 Keith Bridge Rd in Cumming, is a well-known business owner in the community who also owns Palapas Bar and Grill and Coal Mountain Package Store.
“I was looking for a brand to expand my business portfolio, and once I tasted Shipley Do-Nuts, I was hooked,” Rodriguez said in a release. “It’s exciting to bring a legacy brand like Shipley to a whole new community, and I look forward to introducing the Shipley magic to my friends, neighbors and customers in the Forsyth area.”
Kirk McConnell, the owner of McConnell Custom Homes and the building that contains both his business and the new Shipley Do-Nuts location, used to own a doughnut shop of his own called Donut Connection.
“Donut Connection had 12 years of support from the community,” McConnell said. “I hope Shipley Do-Nuts carries on tenfold.”
Rodriguez and McConnell aren’t the only Forsyth County residents excited about the new doughnut shop. One family of Houston natives, now living in Forsyth County, pulled into the parking lot while cheering from their car.
Long-time Georgia resident Cory Fica, who attended college at UT Austin in Texas, was equally happy.
“I frequented a Shipley near my house in Austin,” Fica said. “Those chocolate icing ones are amazing.”
The first Shipley Do-Nuts was founded in Houston, Texas in 1936 by Lawrence Shipley. At that time, the original glazed doughnuts sold for 50 cents a dozen.
Since its inception, Shipley has continued to grow. The chain now offers over 60 varieties of doughnuts in nearly 200 stores spanning the South from Texas to Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and now Georgia.
Rodriguez cut the inaugural ribbon surrounded by his family, representatives of the county, and smiling red-clad Shipley employees. True to the original tradition of Shipley Do-Nuts, Rodriguez has his family deeply involved with the new business, including his daughter who was running the cash register for the event.
The fact that the new Shipley Do-Nuts location opened down the street from a Dunkin’ Donuts seems to be of little concern to the community.
Speaking of Donut Connection, McConnell said, “Everybody thinks that Dunkin’ Donuts came in here and put me out of business. They didn’t. I had a very good business for 12 years.”
“Competition is good for everybody,” said an enthusiastic Shipley customer and Cumming resident, Jimmy. “If you’ve got the better mouse trap, that’s their problem. You’ll see me here pretty regularly.”
Rodriguez is planning to open a total of five Shipley Do-Nuts locations throughout the greater Atlanta area.
This story was originally published in the Forsyth County News, a sister publication of DCN.