From Stall to Store: Crosstown Doughnuts

7 Nov 2014

Crosstown Doughnuts

Crosstown is a new artisan bakery concept that produces fresh gourmet doughnuts. The founder JP Then believed there was a lacking of ‘proper’ doughnuts in the UK marketplace and set out to change that. It turns out he was right.

They launched just 6 months ago, selling their first doughnut from a market stall on Leather Lane. That’s when it all kicked off. Despite being relatively new on the market scene, Crosstown Doughnuts has boomed. They are now available seven days a week at a whole host of cafe’s, restaurants and deli's throughout London.

This November, Crosstown are opening their first brand store in the Underground in the Piccadilly Station. We chatted to their founder, JP Then to find out more…


Why did Crosstown start out with a market stall?

Our thinking was that markets were the perfect platform to get honest feedback from people who have an abundance of choice, but a limited budget. It’s competitive in the markets so if you can make it work there, you can make it worth elsewhere.

How did you chose the location for your first brand store?

Being in a prominent area with high-footfall is definitely one box we wanted tick. We also were drawn to areas where people valued convenience. Our product is very much suited to the ‘grab and go’ customer. Piccadilly Circus is one of the busiest tube stations in London so couldn’t have suited these requirements better.

Piccadilly Circus

What worried you about scaling up the business?

With scale comes investment, There is always an element of risk when you have to take money from the jar. There is nothing wrong with slow and steady growth.

What's are the benefits of being in your own space?

For us, a controlled environment is important as it helps us protect the product. Our doughnuts are made fresh everyday and are best on the day they are made - this means we have to keep them as fresh as possible. A roof over our heads helps to do this.

What is Crosstown Doughnut’s ultimate goal?

We’ve got a picture on the wall with this statement: Reframe Britons’ perception of the classic doughnut by making taste buds dance with a new, fresh, quality offering. - It remains the focus for us. Although in the more immediate future we’d like to launch an online store with a click and collect service.

What advice would you give to another market trader looking to launch their first store?

Keep the offering tight - your reputation is gained from being a master of 1-2 products max. Focus on making this your key point of difference.

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