6 months ago

Slipstream - July 2018

The monthly newsletter of the Maverick Region of the Porsche Club of America

Kruder’s Cars &

Kruder’s Cars & Conversation By Bill Kruder photos courtesy of James St Peter This month’s encounter took a different twist than most, as I had just met Alan Lage, who had recently bought Michael Baynton’s 1974 911. It’s like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Well, Alan suggested that we have an “impromptu,” which, for those of you who haven’t heard, happen on random Saturdays, which we post only on our Mavs & Mochas FB page. Of course, I said! Why don’t you pick the location and I will post something. Alan then begins to tell me he knows this guy who owns a cool donut shop near White Rock Lake. Well as they say, the rest is history, as we had the “impromptu” there with about 20- 25 cars. I strike up the usual conversation with the donut entrepreneur, asked about his car, what he does and proceeds to tell me he is . . . well, you read on. So here is the next in my series of “conversations” I would like to share with you . . . James St Peter, member since 2018, Owner 1997 911 (993) Cab Bill Kruder: So are you originally from here? James St Peter: Believe it or not I was raised and born right here. I was born in Richardson then we moved to Plano. I graduated from Plano Senior High School in 1991. BK: And where did you go to college? JSP: I went to Texas Tech and got a degree in Marketing. BK: So how did you meet your wife Amy? JSP: We met after college. I was out with my friend Shane at Mic’s on Greenville, and Shane’s sister and her group of friends met us there. It was totally random. I asked her out a week or so later and we dated for about five years before we got married in 2003. BK: I know you just recently joined the club but I understand you were a PCA member once before? JSP: I was originally in the club about ten years ago and dropped out; I was entering the unknown world of starting a business and time and focus was going there. Then about a month ago, I heard you guys were having an “impromptu” at Hypnotic Donuts near White Rock Lake and decided to attend. As soon as I was around all those Porsches and people I realized how much I had missed it. I re-joined as soon as I got home. BK: So how did you get interested in Porsche? JSP: Thinking back I am pretty sure the 928 chase scene with Tom Cruise in Risky Business got the car in the back of my mind. Plus the iconic James Dean and Little Bastard poster and story added some curiosity. From there I had always noticed them and their iconic silhouette on the road. However, nothing hooks you to a Porsche like driving one and that was my case. I was driving around with my friend Wade one day and we saw a 911 sitting outside Hi Line Motors. We went in and I told the salesman, “My boss told me I can get any car but he has to see it first. Can I borrow this for two hours?” He agreed and we just cruised around Dallas in a ‘95 911 Cabriolet for a few hours. We returned and I said, “Well this sucks, he did not approve it, sorry.” The salesman knew we never had my boss look at it and just gave us a smile. Fast forward ten years later: it was pretty much because of my wife Amy, then girlfriend, that sealed the deal. Her dad, Carl Shore, owned Central Porsche Audi in the 70s up in Wichita, Kansas. He has a beautiful red ‘88 Targa with a whale tale that he keeps in the garage. When we got married he loaned us his ‘88 Cab for the wedding. Once I was officially family, he let me (still does) drive when we visit. I loved driving that ‘88 Targa so much, then hearing all the great stories, 12 July

good and bad, from Carl about his experience with Porsches and recalling how much fun Wade and I had driving around that 993 Cab, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a 993 Cab for myself. BK: So what was your first Porsche? JSP: It’s the 1997 Cab; we bought it about 12 years ago. BK: So let’s get back to you and Hypnotic Donuts? JSP: Well I guess I was always the kid or the guy that was restless and doing odd jobs for money. After spending 18 years in the corporate world, we decided to try something new and interesting. Well we looked around and thought “there are donut shops but they are all the same.” We had heard about this donut shop in Portland, Oregon called Voodoo Donut, so we made a trip to check it out. We liked the whole vibe and eventually talked to them about franchising, but they did not want to do that. However, I really felt this was something the market wanted so I continued to pursue it. BK: So this was something you knew about it? JSP: Heck no (laughing)! I ate donuts but that was all I knew about the business. But my years in corporate taught me a lot about establishing and growing a business. James and Amy driving off in dad’s 88 I concluded the restaurant industry was basically run by two type of people: chefs who do not know how to run a business, and business executives who do not know how to produce good food. I had to figure out how to meld the two. BK: So . . . JSP: I was still working my corporate job so there was no hurry, but I knew I wanted to do something, so about two years later, 2010, we started selling donuts. BK: So Hypnotic Donuts is that old already? JSP: Technically yes; we became an LLC and we started selling donuts out of the back of a car on weekends in 2010. We were selling out in five minutes, so we knew we had to take the next step. From there we managed to convince a pizza place to let us sell donuts on Saturdays and Sundays till 10 am using their storefront; mind you we had no signs -- it was word of mouth. We were having good success with this but I was working five days in corporate and then selling donuts on the weekend. So it was seven days a week without a break for one and a half years. I knew we could not sustain this style and had to either be all in or all out on the donut business. BK: When did you open the store? JSP: We were selling our donuts up around Preston and Frankford in Dallas and a friend suggested we look at a storefront near White Rock Lake, so in 2012 walked into the shop where we are housed now and asked if they wanted out. They said yes. I was stunned because now I had to act on it. We took the plunge and opened here on Garland Road (and realized soon after we opened that we had a lot more seven-day-a-week work weeks ahead of us.) BK: I have to tell you the first time I had a Hypnotic Donut was up in Denton. JSP: Oh yes, we decided to expand, looking for small places that shared the same vibe of laid back people that want to throw back to simpler times, and we opened our second location there about four years ago. BK: Let’s talk about this “vibe”? JSP: I like the whole mid-century 60s and 70s style, so we want that feel in all of our stores, yet each one noticeably different. Our donut shops are the hippie-sittingin-the-basement feel, while one ice cream shop is a retro soda fountain and the other is a bright mid-century building. BK: And as we speak we are sitting in Hypnotic Emporium? JSP: Yep, we decided that the other thing that was missing was good old fashion ice cream and candy. So about two years ago we opened next door to the donut shop in Dallas. This May we opened another Hypnotic Emporium in Mansfield. And once again to think that after a chance meeting with Alan, and being friends with Michael, it would lead to yet another great story. Always remember: we are “driving friendships.” So if and when you meet someone, new don’t miss out on “Driving Friendships”! 13

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