Huck a Blueberry Bourbon Basil doughnut at a map of Portland and you’re liable to hit an outpost of Katie Poppe and Micah Camden’s Blue Star Donuts. The pair’s sweet brioche dough virus will soon infect another state with the official announcement of Blue Star’s first Los Angeles shop along Venice Beach’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard. “We immediately fell in love with the vibrant, neighborhood feel of Abbot Kinney—it’s such a tight-knit community and is very reminiscent of Portland," says Poppe.
Mind you, this sugar bomb comes only five weeks after the team launched Blue Star Tokyo in clothier Fred Segal’s Western-themed complex Log Road in the chic Daikanyama neighborhood. That brings the grand total to six shops since 2012—once L.A. starts slinging hard cider fritters. (At this rate, I fully expect that the pair will have announced plans to open locations in Fresno and on a steppe in outer Mongolia by the time this post goes live, stealing L.A.’s brief thunder, but what can you do.)
The Venice Beach shop is slated to open in late July with a full roster of PDX favorites as well as a handful of Cali-only doughnuts. “I’m running off what I think to be quintessential L.A. flavors: oranges, olives, alcohol...” says co-owner Camden, who is currently splitting his time between L.A. and Portland. “One doughnut will be a play on ‘as American as apple pie,’ with apple pie filling and white cheddar powder on the outside.” Also on deck: an olive oil orange cake doughnut with rosemary and a pineapple piña colada doughnut.
The move south brings with it a wider audience of discerning doughnut aficionados as well as a major nightlife scene new to the Blue Star formula (its four PDX shops often close/run out of dough in the afternoon; the Venice location will be open until 9 pm). Only time will tell if the chain’s upgraded sweets will win the hearts of our voracious Southern neighbors.