As childhood friends who shared an entrepreneurial spirit, strong worth ethic, and passion for food, Gabriel Wiesen and James Nuccio started Beavers Coffee + Donuts in 2011. Making fresh, fried to order mini donuts and serving locally roasted coffee on Chicago’s firstcooking food truck. Since then, Wiesen and Nuccio have grown their business in Chicago to include five additional food trucks and a permanent location inside the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton, Chicago IL) with more locations coming soon. Due to its growth, Beavers Coffee + Donuts has announced they are re-branding to The Dapper Doughnut, the name of their franchise company, and rolling out new locations nationwide.
The Beavers beginnings began in December 2011, when Chicago natives Wiesen and Nuccio parked their first Beavers Coffee + Donuts food truck in the parking lot of their friend’s restaurant, the popular Big & Little’s and began serving made-to-order donuts from their mechanical fryer to anyone who would stop. Today, the company has grown far beyond its Chicago origins, leading to the new name and national brand, The Dapper Doughnut. Over the past year, they have opened up a new flagship store inside the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and started franchising their made to order mini donut concept. To date, they have over 30 franchise locations currently awarded and many more coming on board each month.
“Jimmy” and “Gabriel”, the longtime friends and partners behind the concept, are the brains and heart of the business and took a risk chasing their dream. “We put it all on the line, and are so blessed with what has happened,” said Wiesen. “We are thrilled to have the ability to share our success with so many others who are also chasing their dream of owning a small business.”
Since their launch, Beavers Coffee + Donuts has ignited a cult following, including being featured locally on Chicago’s Best and ABC Chicago’s The Hungry Hound, and nationally on the Cooking Channel show Unique Sweets, as well as being named a Top 10 Food Truck in the nation by MSNBC. Beavers’ logo (two Beavers munching on donuts) was inspired by a drawing done by Nuccio’s goddaughter. An artist friend refined and designed the logo and related branding, which Wiesen says at the time of their launch, had a “kitschy, fun and memorable” feel.
“Jimmy and I have poured our hearts and soul into this business- from physically doing every element of the operations when we first launched, to leading a staff of more than 50 currently. You might say Jimmy and I have donuts in our blood and coffee running through our veins,” added Wiesen. “We are incredibly proud of the Beavers Coffee + Donuts brand and all that our team has achieved. But as we grow further beyond Chicago we are adapting and appealing to a new national audience. We know our reputation for amazing donuts and customer service will follow us as we transition to The Dapper Doughnut, and we could not be more excited for what is to come. We are still serving the same award- winning made to order mini-donuts with delicious and unique toppings, to the same downtown commuters, attendees at special events like the Taste of Chicago and Pilsen Food Truck Social, in and outside stadiums like Wrigley Field and Soldier Field, and to the loving students at universities like DePaul, Loyola, Northwestern, U of C, and Notre Dame. With success comes growth, and we are thrilled to bring the same quality our Beavers customers know and love under our new national brand, The Dapper Doughnut.”
The Dapper Doughnut locations started opening outside of Chicago beginning roughly a year ago with stores currently open or in development in Reno, Dallas, Houston, Creve Couer (MO), Cincinnati, Nashville, Atlanta, New Stanton (PA), Philadelphia, Boston, Denver, and Greenville (SC), with their flagship store at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and another flagship store to open this summer at the Fulton Center located in the financial district of Manhattan, NYC.