Loan Spotlight: John & Shelley Pippin of Brewnuts

Brewnuts is the brainchild of two Clevelanders, John & Shelley Pippin, who decided to combine their three favorite things – Cleveland, craft beer, and donuts – into one, and make the food and beer lover’s ultimate guilty pleasure: craft-beer-based donuts. By combining donuts, a symbol of Americana as unpretentious as you can find, with the hipness of the craft beer movement, Brewnuts puts a whole new twist on bellying up to the bar.

Shelley and John started Brewnuts in 2013 as a hobby on the side of their corporate careers. After going through two business incubator programs to build their business plan and learn the in’s and out’s of running a food based business, they began selling at local markets and events in the Cleveland area. The response was so great they applied for a 10-month pop-up shop opportunity in Tremont which they won. This allowed the couple to stress test their business concept and determine what evolution the business would take next. They decided that they would go forward with their grand goal of opening Cleveland’s first and only Donut Bar. This vision was less “mom and pop donut shop,” and more neighborhood watering hole meets artisan donut bakery.

Through the support of small business loans like the one the couple received from HFLA and other sources of funding like a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over $20,000 in capital, the couple is busy at work putting the finishing touches on bringing their flagship donut bar to life at 6501 Detroit Rd in the heart of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. When open, the space will boast 16 local craft beers on tap, a variety of scratch made, craft beer inspired donuts and a full coffee menu in collaboration with Phoenix Coffee Co. The couple looks forward to adding a new menu item as well, donut-breaded chicken wings. They aim to serve the morning crowd with coffee and donuts and transition into a happy hour hot spot in the evening.

Look for Brewnuts to open its doors later this summer! Check back at for updates.


Update: Brewnuts IS open for business! Be sure to check them out at their location on Detroit Road in the Gordon Square Arts District.