Locally renowned Uptown bakery Bogart’s Doughnut Co. (famous for its signature made-from-scratch brioche dough) brings its treats downtown with a new kiosk opening at the IDS Center on July 15. Founder Anne Rucker is busier than ever making sure everything goes according to plan, but the lawyer-turned-entrepreneur sat down to talk about the inspiration behind the company, what’s kept her going, and the rewarding nature of risk in the face of a challenge.
1. What made you want to expand Bogart’s into downtown? In what specific ways do you foresee the new skyway kiosk helping the company?
I used to work in downtown Minneapolis, and I remember the lack of non-chain breakfast and treat options. Coming from my start at the farmer’s market, I also know that foot traffic is gold. Not to mention offering a new option for corporate breakfast meetings. Having a kiosk in the Crystal Court of IDS has been a goal of mine since opening Bogart’s and I’m still pinching myself that it’s actually happening.
2. You’ve spoken before about the influential role your family plays in the inspiration behind Bogart’s. What advice would you give others striving to effectively balance parenthood and work life?
It’s really hard, especially at first, but when you look back on your accomplishments knowing you did it all for your family, there is no greater feeling. Knowing that I may be able to pass this business on to my daughter is something I don’t take lightly. It motivates me to be better and work harder.
3. Walk us through your typical workday. What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
I’m not working the overnight shift any more, so I’m getting a bit more sleep these days! Usually I arrive at the shop in the early morning and meet with staff. Our shop is small so that when I have to focus on computer work I often find myself paying bills and writing emails from Canteen, just down the road. Later in the evening, I return to the shop when no one else is there to check the dough. I have to say the most rewarding part of what I do is seeing customers enjoying the doughnuts. Part of me still can’t believe how many people love the doughnuts! That is the ultimate reward.
4. How long does it typically take for you to settle on a new flavor tasty enough to add to Bogart’s inventory?
It usually takes us at least a few weeks to settle on a new flavor. I’m a bit of perfectionist, as is my kitchen manager, Tzvetelina, so the process of introducing a new flavor isn’t something we take lightly.
5. As a former attorney, how has your past career experiences influenced the way you approach your work and responsibilities as founder of Bogart’s?
Sometimes I feel like my past life has helped me to be a better problem solver in my new role as a doughnut shop owner, but mostly I think the biggest motivator for me to succeed is the fact that I left my previous career in order to pursue my dream. It was scary as hell, but completely worth it and I definitely don’t want to squander the opportunity I have.