Talking with Sidecar Doughnuts

Who can resist a sweet, fluffy, doughnut? With flavors like huckleberry and maple bacon being served up fresh every hour, Sidecar Doughnuts in Southern California, is making it hard to pass up. After seeing how quickly they developed a loyal following I had to find out more. It quickly became obvious that Sidecar Doughnuts was much more than just doughnuts. They had a connection with the community. They were creating stories and experiences. I was lucky enough to speak with the team at Sidecar Doughnuts to find out how they keep the crowds coming back and happy.

What inspired Sidecar Doughnuts?

Sidecar is the brainchild of Sumter and Chi-Lin Pendergrast and Chef Brooke Desprez. It all started with Sumter’s relative obsession with great coffee. He had the idea to open a special, cutting edge coffee shop, and started roasting beans in his home garage. Once he discovered the amazing Stumptown Coffee Roasters, he stopped home roasting and refocused efforts on the idea of a new type of gathering place for their community. Chi-Lin introduced Sumter and Desprez, they realized her specialty doughnuts would be the ideal complement to his beloved Stumptown Coffee and the vision was realized.

What makes your doughnuts so unique?

We pride ourselves on having the World’s Freshest Doughnuts – we fry them in small batches, every hour, ensuring each customer the freshest, warmest doughnut possible. All of our infused glazes and doughnut toppings are made in house – hand crushed jams and compotes, custards, meringues, streusels, piecrust crumbles, and more. Chef Brooke is constantly creating and introducing new flavors inspired by seasonal and local flavors.

What does it mean to you to have become a staple in the community?

We are thrilled that we have become a gathering place for so many members of our local Costa Mesa community. We love seeing regulars returning every day, week or month, and hearing all the amazing stories about special experiences shared at Sidecar. In fact, we recently launched a new website and added a new feature dedicated to exactly this: Sidecar Stories. We want to hear more about the memories made at Sidecar. Each month we will select a different story to feature on our website and will give the storyteller a free dozen doughnuts.

Tell me more about SideCares

SideCares was born as a result of our wanting to find a way to make more of a difference in our community. When we first opened, we were constantly being approached about donations and sponsorships for bake sales and community events. While we were honored to contribute to so many great local causes, we wanted to find a way to have more of an impact on these organizations. As such, we started our SideCares program, wherein each month we select a local non-profit/cause, and contribute a portion of proceeds from the month’s sales to the group. During that month we also support and promote the organizations message in whatever other ways we can: we donate doughnuts and coffee to events, donate “free doughnut” cards for incentive programs and giveaways, etc.

The Sidecar Doughnuts website states “we believe in Doughnuts, Coffee, and Community” and they have definitely proven that to be true. Sidecar Doughnuts has become more than just a doughnut shop. They have cemented themselves as storytellers and advocates of the community. And of course, the always rotating doughnut flavors help keep people coming back for more.