In an Eat Street space that used to house a German bakery, Arwyn Birch and Teresa Fox have made their own mark on the culinary scene in Minneapolis; the vibrant, pink-ceilinged Glam Doll Donuts sells about two dozen different types of doughnuts, including a new one every Wednesday, and they craft custom designs for special events. Among the secrets to their success has been enthusiastic outreach to the local music scene, which has responded with lots of goodwill and countless social media shout-outs.
Among the events that have featured Glam Doll confections are YouTube star Pudge the Cat’s birthday, various album release parties, and perhaps most notably, First Avenue concerts. Performers at First Ave regularly receive doughnuts from Glam Doll, some shaped like the signature white stars on the side of the building and some in even more innovative designs. According to First Avenue staffer Hannah Marie Hron, Glam Doll’s doughnuts have helped show performers that “First Ave isn’t just another stop on tour.”
When asked about their most prized creations, Birch and Fox light up and start quickly naming favorites. Recreating a CHVRCHES album cover on a doughnut was a huge highlight; they really enjoyed making doughnuts for Cypress Hill and 2 Chainz at Soundset last May. And they’re so proud of their Night Moves doughnut that they added it to the regular menu.
Both women grew up going to festivals with their families, and they bring their love for local artists to work with them every day. Whether they’re catering for Electric Fetus’s Record Store Day event or for Midwest music festivals, they love talking with artists like P.O.S and Night Moves. In fact, Lizzo and Glam Doll teamed up to shoot Lizzo’s “Batches & Cookies” music video inside the shop. “I’m actually in it,” says Fox, her eyes flashing with excitement. “We’re lucky to be fans of our friends.”
Special events inside the store include Dance Days, when Uptown Swing takes over the Glam Doll lobby and sets the wood floors shaking with dancing and live music. Peter Lansky, aka DJ Sovietpanda, aka TML, has also hosted DJ nights—which is convenient, since he actually works the counter as a Glam Doll employee. And staff members are always encouraged to play their favorite music whenever they work, which provides a unique vibe for guests on every visit.
Looking to the future, Birch even hopes to throw a Glam Doll Block Party for the Nicollet (and greater Minneapolis) community. It’s fitting that in a music scene with so much creativity and collaboration across genre lines, a doughnut shop is also defying categories.
Cecilia Johnson is studying English and Spanish at Hamline University. Her favorite things include airplanes, Doomtree, and Korean food, and her current jam is London Grammar’s “Flickers.”