Jake Wall thought he’d take a break after closing his Bakers Dozen doughnut shop on S.W. 21st Street this past Halloween.
People on social media, however, had other thoughts on Wall’s plans. After some cleaning and a health inspection, his newest Bakers Dozen will open in the Thunderbird Square shopping center at S.E. 29th and Croco sometime this week.
“We were just going to go with two stores,” he said, referring to his existing North Topeka and S.W. 6th and MacVicar Bakers Dozen shops. “When we found out there was an online petition to get us to come here, we were like, OK. The fervor to bring us out here brought us out here.”
The Bakers Dozen Facebook post on Jan. 2 announcing the Thunderbird Square location has received more than 500 reactions, 176 comments and 371 shares as of Saturday. He said based on the nearly 41,000 views the post has received, he’s not concerned about the success his shop will have just east of Lake Shawnee.
“If 10 percent of those people show up,” he said, “we’ll be fine.”
Wall said after he posted on social media that he was closing his 21st Street location, the medium played a role in landlords across Topeka offering him their space.
“If it hadn’t been that I had mentioned it on social media,” he said, “I wouldn’t have been contacted. In fact, almost all of the landlords contacted me initially through Facebook instant messenger, saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got this great location.’”
Wall said even though he and the building owner for his 21st Street location came to a mutual, amicable decision to part ways, the decision to close the shop was a difficult and emotional one to make.
“The hardest thing for me was that it was a place where 100 senior citizens came to meet every day,” he said. “We had at least 300 customers there a day. We are talking thousands of different people went through there a week. We knew them by name, what they wanted.”
Anywhere from 90 to 150 dozen doughnuts are made on a weekly basis, Wall said, between his two shops and the nine Kwik Shop convenience stores that sell the sweet treats.
A 1995 graduate of Topeka High School, Wall said he had to let go of 13 employees who had worked for him for several years, but all have found other jobs, he said.
“It’s probably the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” he said.
Contact reporter Angela Deines at (785) 295-1143 or @AngelaDeines on Twitter.