Skip to content

This Popular Donut Chain Is Planning a Major Expansion

The up-and-comer is growing its footprint and its menu.

If you've never tried a Shipley donut before, it's dollars to donuts that you will have within the next few years. The popular Texas donut brand, famous for its kolaches and hot glazed donuts, will more than double in size by 2027, according to the company's CEO Steve Rutledge.

Rutledge revealed to Franchise Times the donut brand's ambitious expansion plans. Thanks to a bevy of new franchising agreements, including a deal with private equity firm HPL Capital, the chain will be expanding its footprint by 350 stores in the next five years, bringing its location count to just under 700. Talk about a dessert behemoth!

Growth will be concentrated in the Southeast, with plans for 55 new locations in Georgia and Maryland, and 25 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The Shipley footprint currently spans ten states, with a preponderance of stores in Texas. The expansion plan will see Shipley doubling down in Southeastern markets in which it currently has a limited presence.

In addition to the new stores, Shipley is expanding its menu. The chain is venturing into coffee (both hot and iced), with plans for a test run in Houston prior to a systemwide rollout. "It's never been an emphasis in the past," said Rutldege, about the menu changes. "We're really excited about this."

Rutledge is relatively new to Shipley, having joined the company as CEO in 2021, alongside Hank Simpson, Shipley's current COO. Rutledge and Simpson are both quick-service industry veterans and bring years of experience to their respective positions. Before coming to Shipley, Rutledge held appointments at Bojangles and Whataburger, and Simpson joined the brand after 18 years at Panera.

Shipley switched up its executive team following an acquisition last year by Peak Rock Capital. Prior to Rutledge and Simpson, the company was led by Lawrence Shipley III, grandson of company founder Lawrence Shipley Sr.

Owen Duff
Owen Duff is a freelance journalist based in Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s. Read more about Owen