Q COSTA RICA – At only 24 years of age, Javier Becerra Kriebel, with the financial support of a silent partner, acquired Doña Dona, a small donut business founded in 1997 and at the time with only one store, in Multiplaza Escazu.
The year was 2004. Becerra wondered how a product “so good” only had one store. “We decided to take the reins of the business, seeing the potential of the product and the market and the acceptance it could have,” said Becerra.
Little by little more stores were opened, mainly in shopping centres, the second store opened that year in 2004, in Mall Paseo de las Flores. The Heredia store opening was followed up with stores in the International Mall of Alajuela, Centro Comercial del Sur, Multicentro Desamparados and Plaza Rohrmoser.
Today, 12 years later, there are 17 Doña Dona locations, including two in the Parque de Diversiones.
With the opening of its newest store in Curridabat last month, Doña Dona is working with a new business model.
“We want to improve the customer experience, that the customer can choose different types of donuts, that have many combinations. We have an area of tables and chairs, and children play area,” said Becerra.
Becerra told ElFinancierocr.com that if the Curridabat model is a hit, it would be replicated in existing premises and in future openings.
Today, Doña Dona offers, apart from its main product of selling donuts, salty baked goods, cheese crab cakes, meat pies, chicken patties and iced coffee, among other items.
Doña Dona donuts also come in varying sizes and shapes and flavours, such as the Nutella filled chocolate donuts. “Our mission is to spread smiles, make people happy. We all deserve to be happy, (the purpose is) to get a smile on people when they bite into a donut,” said Becerra.
This PYMES (small and medium business venture) employs around 43 people in stores and the Lindora, Santa Ana production plant. Becerra said that he is analyzing venturing into other markets in Central America through franchising.