1. Business

Simply Done Donuts takes over Mini Doughnut Factory space in South Tampa

Simply Done Donuts has opened at 2109 S. Dale Mabry Highway, which was once home to the now defunct Mini Doughnut Factory. The two businesses are not related. [Courtesy of Simply Done Donuts]
Published Aug. 5

TAMPA — After a legal dispute shuttered the Mini Doughnut Factory, a new purveyor of petite confectionery masterpieces has taken its place on S Dale Mabry Highway and is hoping to make its name in Florida.

Simply Done Donuts, a Georgia-based mini doughnut company, held its grand opening in South Tampa over the weekend. The family run business isn't only known for its little cake doughnuts, but also its award-winning coffee. Its menu includes doughnut flavors such as Fruity Pebbles and Snickers, along with cold brew, lattes, floats, ice cream and milkshakes.

"People seem to really like this location," said owner Karissa Tuttle. "It's super vibrant and full of colors … It screams Florida."

Tuttle started the business with her husband, Joe Tuttle, in 2015 as a food truck they now call the doughnut wagon. (There is a coffee cart, too.) By 2017, they opened a brick-and-mortar store just outside Atlanta in Duluth. The opportunity to open a second location in Florida — Joe's home state — came after Tampa's Mini Doughnut Factory closed its doors in April.

RELATED STORY: Mini Doughnut Factory shuts down as legal battle heats up

The Mini Doughnut Factory sold its liquidated assets and appliances to Simply Done Donuts, according to owner Lee Kearney. Kearney has been in a courtroom battle with the former shop's founders, Patrick and Zezura Ruddell, for months. Kearney, once the leading investor, took control of the business from the Ruddells, something the pair tried to fight in court. One of the cases — a nearly $1 million lawsuit — came to an end on June 25, with a ruling in Kearney's favor.

Ultimately, Kearney said it made the most sense to get back what money he could to pay off creditors.

"I took over the business with $100,000 in delinquent bills," said Kearney. "I did my best to hold a broken business together."

The Ruddells could not be reached for comment.

The new owners have since overhauled the shop, creating several corners of Instagram-worthy decor. There's even a bright neon sign that says "Tampa does donuts."

The Tuttles will keep operations in the family, with Joe's mother heading its lone Florida store.

Kearney said a nondisclosure agreement made with the landlord of the former St. Petersburg Mini Doughnut Factory precluded him from commenting on what could show up next in that space. Karissa Tuttle confirmed she would not be opening another location in that Fourth Avenue location.

But those cross-bay who are dying to try the shops top-selling apple pie doughnut could still have the chance. Tuttle said a doughnut truck like the one she runs in the Atlanta area is being constructed to roam to special events in Tampa Bay.

Simply Done Donuts is located 2109 S Dale Mabry Highway.

Contact Sara DiNatale at Follow @sara_dinatale.


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