Rebel Donut Bar capitalizes on pop-up trend

Sssdude-nutz’s Bradley Taylor started a pop-up doughnut shop and recently others have been adopting the trend

Vince Traver, owner of Rebel Donut Bar, sells mini donuts to customers at Tin Whiskers Brewery in St. Paul on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

Image by Meagan Lynch

Vince Traver, owner of Rebel Donut Bar, sells mini donuts to customers at Tin Whiskers Brewery in St. Paul on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

by Eliana Schreiber

The newest in a string of businesses shows pop-up shops can succeed beyond Dinkytown, where one shop popularized the idea for many students.

Rebel Donut Bar, a new pop-up doughnut shop in Northeast Minneapolis, follows a business model recently employed by University of Minnesota alumnus Bradley Taylor of Sssdude-nutz in Dinkytown.

Vince Traver, co-founder of Rebel Donut Bar, said he and partner, Kiah Gumeringer, started making doughnuts as a hobby for a few months before setting out to start a business.

Traver said after they started posting picture of the doughnuts on Instagram, he saw a demand and started to sell the treat at local events and farmers’ markets.

After discovering Inbound Brew Company at an Eat.Drink.Dish event in Uptown this year, Traver asked to collaborate in making a beer doughnut. The brewery has since become a regular spot for the pop-up doughnut shop.

Previously a mechanic for 10 years, Traver said he wasn’t confident at first but said it has always been his dream to open a doughnut shop.

Gumeringer, who is an art director by trade, said she helps with the doughnut bar in her free time by making advertisements and constructing the business’ social media posts.

Traver said brick-and-mortar shops are expensive in the city, and a pop-up model seemed like a more welcoming choice.

“This was kind of the only way to do it. This or like, food trucks,” he said.

He pointed to Rise Bagel Company, which also started its business with pop-ups.

Kate Lloyd, co-founder of Rise, said she and her sister Jen started at farmers’ markets and eventually expanded to other locations such as the Wedge Co-op and Dogwood Coffee.

Lloyd said the pop-ups at Dogwood let the two companies share a customer base and promote each other.

“It’s kind of fun to bop around and have different experiences, and the bottom line is to be out there and to get our products to our customers,” Lloyd said.

She said the company will open a storefront early next year.

Traver and Gumeringer hope to eventually open a storefront in Northeast Minneapolis like Taylor’s Dinkytown location.

Taylor said the way he started Sssdude-nutz is uniqueand he said he didn’t anticipate the trend to grow in the city.

At the beginning, Taylor delivered doughnuts to customers on his own. But soon after, he realized it was too large a task for one person and turned to pop-ups.

He said he got the idea from a T-shirt company he started when living in Los Angeles.

“Obviously, I didn’t have a storefront at that time. I was like a sophomore in high school,” he said.

Taylor said he sold his shirts wherever people let him. That inspired his pop-up shops in Dinkytown.

Although Taylor admits he didn’t invent the pop-up trend, he said it’s exciting to see others following a similar path.

“I’m not going to say that I started it,— definitely not,” he said. “But I think … the way I did it, especially with doughnuts … no one was doing [that].”