Voodoo Doughnut

Portland, Ore.

It’s a busy Friday night and I’m watching Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson slather fresh hot strawberry fritters with some strong-wristed ladle action. We’re in the cramped work area of a shop that’s quickly becoming legendary: Voodoo Doughnut. I ask Pogson what doughnut creations haven’t worked out. He mentions something called a Seven-Layer doughnut. “It was just too hard to make—a plain cake with seven damn things on it.” Then there’s the Red Bull Glazed doughnut with powdered sugar. “I’m not sure how much Red Bull you got out of it,” he says.

Two of the shop’s claims to infamy were the Nyquil Glazed doughnut and the Vanilla Pepto Crushed Tums doughnut, until health officials told them to stop making them. “The Nyquil one was kind of a lark, but that’s the one that got the most famous. With the Pepto doughnut, I honestly thought if you had that shot of tequila you shouldn’t have at 2:00 a.m., and then you got sugar, bread, Pepto, and Tums, you’d either feel better or puke your ass off and then feel better because you got it out of your system. So it was a win-win either way.”

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—Kevin Sampsell

Kevin Sampsell is the editor of The Insomniac Reader: Stories of the Night (Manic D Press), the author of Beautiful Blemish (Word Riot Press), and a bookstore employee living in Portland, Oregon.

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