Randy Flatt wasn’t a pastry chef when he and his wife, Wendi, set out to open a doughnut shop.
In fact, Mr. Flatt said he didn’t know a thing about making donuts until a few days before the couple opened Ender’s Donuts at 3506 S. 22nd St.
“When we opened up on Jan. 9, it was a Wednesday. I didn’t know a damn thing about making donuts before Monday,” Mr. Flatt said. “Not one thing.”
The couple had tried a lot of donuts in the area and weren’t impressed. The frozen-to-oven taste wasn’t the same as the fresh-fried sweetness of a homemade donut.
Everything in the case at Ender’s is fried — from the apple fritter the size of a go-cart wheel to the popular blueberry and long johns.
The eatery also has a breakfast item that’s not necessarily sweet. The bratwurst wrapped in donut dough is baked. Mr. Flatt fried them at first, but a customer suggested to bake them, like they do in Texas.
Mr. Flatt had worked in corporate America for years before suffering a heart attack. He lost his job and struggled to find work in the two years that followed.
“I finally decided to quit looking,” he said. “I’m done looking. It’s time to do my own thing.
“When we started this idea, we were trying to cater to this part of town. There’s not a lot of donut shops (around here).”
The bakeries are popular in his hometown of Tulsa, Okla. “You can’t throw a dead cow without hitting 15 donut shops in Oklahoma,” Mr. Flatt said.
The name, Ender’s, lends itself to the area as well. It’s short for South-Enders. The owners hope to inspire friendly competition in the future with another location in the north side of town, dubbed north Ender’s.
The business already has familiar faces. Besides the regulars, it has become a haven for the neighborhood kids.
The bus stops right in front of the store. The kids come in, buy a donut, get a glass or milk or coffee and keep warm, waiting on their ride to school. “It’s kind of overwhelming at times,” Mr. Flatt said of the success. “I think, ‘How am I going to keep up?’”
It’s a family operation that includes the Flatts’ children, Jessica and Nicholas; brother-in-law, Travis Whitchurch; and mother, Donna Daugherty.
Ender’s is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. until the donuts run out. It is closed Mondays. For more information, call (816) 676-8467.