LA Icon Randy’s Donuts Plans 7 Las Vegas Locations


LAS VEGAS (Review Journal) — Iconic Los Angeles brand Randy’s Donuts is coming to Las Vegas — with not one but seven stores.

The company has purchased a vacant drive-thru restaurant at 2170 S. Rainbow Blvd., between Oakey Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, and vacant land at Blue Diamond Road and Cameron Street. The Rainbow location is expected to open in late summer and Blue Diamond in fall or winter. The other five Randy’s will be a mix of casino and stand-alone locations. Owner Mark Kelegian said he’s already working with one of the larger casino companies.

Randy’s is known to many people for the giant doughnut on the roof of the original Inglewood location, which is near Los Angeles International Airport.

Kelegian said Las Vegas was a logical choice because of the number of visitors it attracts and its 24-hour nature.

“People think we do most of our sales in the morning,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday. “We do about 50 percent of our sales from 5 a.m. to noon, and we’re still selling all day long and into the night. It’s a brand that really goes all day long, and so does Las Vegas.”

He said UFC president Dana White has been a fan since filming a spot in Los Angeles and encouraged the expansion to Las Vegas.

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“He came and we let him make his raspberry jelly doughnuts and we just had a great time,” Kelegian said.

Kelegian and his family bought the company, which dates to 1962, from the family of the original owner in 2015. They have since opened four more locations in Greater Los Angeles, and there are three in South Korea, with more on the way, in Southern and Central California as well as Las Vegas. Randy’s Donuts offers catering and delivery in the Los Angeles area.

Open since 1953, Randy’s is a staple for Angelenos.  Randy’s signature 32-foot novelty architecture donut, also known as the world’s largest donut, sits atop the original Inglewood shop and is a top Los Angeles tourist destination. As Kelegian says, “they come for the photo op but return for the best handmade donuts in the world.”

“I like the idea of having a product that I think will stand the test of time,” Kelegian said. “We went into this as a family business for my daughters. My two oldest daughters successfully had their own careers and are working for us now.”

“I love that to death. Otherwise, I’m in the casino business and a law practice for 20-some years. This is a good family business. It’s something we can keep providing to the public.”

“We’re franchising around the world, and we’re going to be in seven to eight countries by the end of the year,” he said.

The original Randy’s in Inglewood draws about 200 people a day to snap pictures, Kelegian said, and the icon is incorporated in some fashion at each location. The Blue Diamond shop, he said, will have a 20-foot doughnut “on the ground instead of the rooftop, because the neighbors wouldn’t allow it.”

But he said while people may come for the sign, they come back for the doughnuts. Kelegian said Randy’s uses the original recipe and has had the same baker, who learned from the original baker, for 20 years.

“Our standards are so much higher than other doughnut shops that we had to make our own flour,” he said. “We make everything by hand. A lot of the larger doughnut operations don’t do it that way. Our doughnuts are fluffier and lighter than anything you’ll see out there.

“The one thing about the doughnut business is people can get creative and put whatever they want on top — and we do that, too — but at the end of the day the doughnut itself has to have the quality.”

Since taking over the business, he said, they have added trendier flavors such as maple with churros, matcha tea and coconut-caramel-chocolate (and they also serve several varieties of the “Crondy,” a sort of doughnut-croissant hybrid — but that 85 percent to 90 percent of the doughnuts they sell are the original varieties.

His own favorite? The cinnamon roll.

“I’m a sucker,” he said. “When you buy a doughnut store, you’ve got to stop eating them.”

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