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Shipley Do-Nuts plans ‘experiential HQ’ at former Finger Furniture site

Shipley Do-Nuts plans ‘experiential HQ’ at former Finger Furniture site

Shipley Do-Nuts broke ground on a new headquarters near downtown that will bring new life to the former Finger Furniture warehouse near the Gulf Freeway at Cullen Boulevard.

Shipley officials gathered with community leaders Thursday to unveil plans for a flagship 60,000-square-foot building on the site, which also was home to minor league baseball teams at Busch (Buff) Stadium from 1928 until 1961. The Houston Buffaloes were a St. Louis Cardinals minor league team beginning in 1920.

“This is our field of dreams. Where we’re standing is the very first minor league ball team ever associated with Major League Baseball,” said Shipley CEO Clifton Rutledge, celebrating an expansion that marks the company’s 85th anniversary. “We’re very proud to be here.”

The headquarters, which will consolidate four locations along North Main and serve as a training center for franchisees, is part of a 16-acre development by Houston-based Lovett Commercial in the East End. It is the only structure on the former Finger Furniture campus to be salvaged.

“When I saw this awesome building, I saw a lot more than just a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility with a corporate office and a restaurant and a doughnut development center,” said Shipley President Craig Lindberg. “I saw an experience.”

The building, where rail cars used to deliver furniture, has been stripped down to a shell and will be repurposed with a drive-thru in the middle to provide a behind the scenes look at Shipley’s operations. Customers will have views of employees making yeast dough for distribution to more than 330 shops across the South and Southeast.

“As they drive through the building, they’ll be able to see into the warehouse, into the kitchen, into the manufacturing and totally experience Shipley in a way that no other restaurant has ever been able to deliver to their guests,” Lindberg said.

Named the L.W. “Bud” Shipley Jr. Support Center, after founder Lawrence Shipley’s son, the facility will have office space for 130 employees. The family-run business grew to more than 190 shops through franchising under Shipley Jr.’s leadership.

Austin-based Peak Rock Capital acquired Shipley in January with plans to grow the brand, which operates in nine states. The company has franchise commitments for an additional 300 shops over the next five years. The Shipley family retained a stake in the business.

Jim Foreman with Cushman & Wakefield assisted Shipley with the site selection after touring dozens of properties. Bill Higbie is the builder.

Opening is planned in late 2022.

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