High schoolers go nuts for donuts

Taylor’s Donuts opens across the street from LHS, offering sweet treats and and a gathering place for students and staff.

By Bella Ball, Reporter

This fall, a new “local flavor” has been added to the culture of Lawrence. Nestled between the LHS and KU campuses, Taylor’s Donuts is welcoming Chesty Lions and Jayhawks alike. 

This fall, they have opened their doors in a series of “soft-launches” designed to build a customer base while safely establishing their staff and operations. While they originally hoped to open last spring, they were pushed back to September. 

“This project has had its fair share of interruptions,” owner Taylor Petrehn said. “It’s coming up on three years from when we originally set out to rebuild this place.”

Taylor’s Donuts would seem to many a dubious enterprise, as it is located in a repurposed college laundromat, but its sister cafe, 1900 Barker, also located in an old laundromat, has been incredibly successful. 

A lot of the initial positive reaction to Taylor’s Donuts has stemmed from its connection to 1900 Barker, which is also located very close to LHS. 

“I like how [1900 Barker] is in a little house, it’s very cute, very cozy,” senior Katie Hurd said. “I go with some of my friends and it’s just so fun.”

1900 Barker has been a staple coffee shop for the Lawrence community since they opened, and it looks like their donut shop will be following suit.

Despite the connections with 1900 Barker, Taylor’s Donuts will be offering a different experience. 

“Taylor’s Donuts will be a small, chic donut shop experience focused on using premium ingredients to make delicious and memorable donuts,” Petrehn said.

Their menu will offer coffee, soft-serve ice cream, grab-and-go snacks, and, of course, donuts.

Petrehn is aiming to cater to high school students grabbing snacks and coffee before and after school, and has expressed hopes of interacting with the high school community. 

“We love the fact that the high school is right across the street,” Petrehn said. “Lots of memories are made in high school and we hope that we can help create some pretty great ones for the students at LHS for years and years.”

Their focus on making memories fits right in with the small, local culture of Lawrence.

“There’s a lot of little coffee shops that make living in Lawrence very special,” Hurd said. 

Adding another residential coffee shop has created another safe space for teenagers to interact with each other and their community at large. 

Like many other LHS students, Hurd enjoys the environment of Lawrence that fosters bonding and interaction.

“My writers’ club likes to get together to just write,” Hurd said. “We get to pick so many different places to meet at and share a common hobby.”

Once regular hours are established after the soft-opening, Taylor’s Donuts will become an ideal place for students to get together, hang out, and bond with each other and their community. 

Additionally, Taylor’s Donuts is connecting with LHS by including students in their workforce. A handful of students have already been hired, among them senior Tate Landes.

“I was looking for a job and I thought, why not apply?” Landes said. “I really like 1900 Barker and I’ve gone there a lot with my family.”

Landes plans to work at Taylor’s after school and during the weekends once they’ve established regular hours, but for now she is part of their initial staff during the soft opening. 

“I’m excited to meet a lot of new people,” said Landes. “And I feel like it’d be really fun to work in a coffee shop.” 

Only time will tell how successful they will be, but Taylor’s Donuts certainly has a promising future ahead of them as another local Lawrence coffee shop.

“I feel like they’re getting a lot of business and they’re going to keep getting a lot of business,” Landes said.