Photo Credit: Photo via Facebook
The space downtown that most recently housed a branch of local franchise Your Pie will soon be home to Zombie Coffee and Donuts. Owner Tony Raffa, who won't graduate with his undergraduate degree from UGA until the end of this semester, owns another branch of the store in Washington, D.C., but says he's excited to open one in Athens.
The model is somewhere between the calzone franchises that have been popping up downtown (late-night business catering to the things that folks out late want, delivery for the people who are just up late but not out) and Subway (pick your doughnut toppings). The bigger the order, the farther the delivery can go.
When asked how he finds time for both classes and entrepreneurship, Raffa says, "I have always found a way to balance it because I truly love and enjoy it. I really love working with this company and my fellow employees, owners and managers." He doesn't have a food-service background and came to the industry through app design.
He says, "A mutual party recommended I meet this small group, of three people, running a franchise called frozenyo. I sat down with this group of people, who were running a frozen yogurt chain for awhile and were working on something new. We started talking about various ideas and really hit it off. Shortly after that ideas started to become a reality, and we built the brand and idea for Zombie Coffee and Donuts. Over the next year and a half we really solidified everything to make sure we had a concrete plain and project and finally built a store in D.C."
The D.C. store serves a coffee roasted there, and when asked if locally roasted coffee is part of his plan for Athens, Raffa says, "we really think our product is great and until we can replicate that same great flavor in Georgia we will be serving the same D.C.-roasted coffee. That being said, everything is brewed and made in store and we hope to do local roasting as soon as we see that we can, without sacrificing the coffee's flavor."