Behind the Business: Doan’s Bakery
In 1984, Karen Doan, a self-taught baker, opened Doan’s Bakery at the urging of friends and family who enjoyed her delicious cakes and creations. 25 years later, the bakery is now a family affair, co-owned by her son Eric, family run and operated. They’ve been baking for restaurants, coffee shops, caterers, and some high-profile clients.
Their storefront on Ventura Blvd, next to yet another historical establishment, Dan’s Super Subs, offers single portion servings of their cookies, fruit tarts, cheesecakes, cupcakes, brownies, cinnamon rolls and a variety of Bundt cakes. Pair that up with their hand ground Graffeo coffees and teas and you will find yourself floating on Cloud 9, taste buds singing, heavenly chorus and the whole nine yards to go with it. And, yes, they have a (very) decadent cookie of the same name. This writer highly recommends it.
When asked what makes their cakes special, Karen responds with: “Lots of love and I don’t skimp on ingredients. Everyone always says, ‘Less is more, Karen.’ Cause I just want to put more; more white chips, I want to put more coconut and I know how much love, how much care we out in this stuff.”
This is especially true for their now infamous White Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake, also known as the “Cruise cake”. For almost a decade, Tom Cruise has been—and still is—a huge fan of this Doan’s Bakery specialty. As the story goes, actress Dianne Keaton gifted the cake to Katie Holmes, who was still married to Tom Cruise at the time, while working together on a movie. The duo, Cruise and Holmes, had a huge party at their home in Beverly Hills and had Doan’s Bakery make this specific cake for the occasion. The rest was history. Since then, when the holidays came around, the actor orders more than 100 white chocolate bundt cakes from the bakery and gifts it to his circle of friends and co-workers–Rosie O’ Donnell, Henry Cavil, Kristen Dunst just to name a few.
During the pandemic, like many small businesses, Karen and her son Eric worried about the future of the bakery and if they were even going to be able to survive this.
“That’s the hard part. We were wondering how we can keep the doors open. It’s been a real hard year because we saw both ends of the spectrum,” shares Eric.
But, Cruise’ patronage truly helped keep the bakery alive. It definitely helped them sell about 125 cakes per week on GoldBelly, an online marketplace for local food purveyors throughout the country, once the word of his cake orders came out.
“This has become so popular that when I’m on the phone, 80% of the people, this is what they want. We’re so blessed. It just breaks my heart for servers, and hairdressers who can’t work. We’re very blessed. We’re not rolling in loot but we’re surviving. We’re making our payments and I’m very happy, very grateful.” Karen shares her gratitude for the enormous support.
Stop by Doan’s Bakery and support this family owned and operated local bakery. Try their array of pastries and goodies and enjoy cup of coffee or tea.
Location: 22526 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 9:00AM – 2:00PM