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Originally published February 11, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Page modified February 11, 2014 at 6:49 PM

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Top Pot Doughnuts follows fans to Lone Star State

Top Pot Doughnuts, which owns 15 cafes in the Puget Sound region, is embarking on its first out-of-state foray with a 1,300-square-foot store in Dallas.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Top Pot Doughnuts has picked a foreign location for its first out-of-state store — the former Republic of Texas.

The budding Seattle confectionery and coffee empire is planting its flag in fancy North Dallas, the stomping grounds of former President George W. Bush and celebrity billionaire Mark Cuban.

The 1,300-square-foot store is Top Pot’s first foray out of the Seattle area and could be the harbinger of a wider expansion, co-founder Mark Klebeck said in an interview Tuesday. The store is to open in the spring, he said.

“It’s definitely a new direction for us,” Klebeck said. “We just want to see how it’d do outside of Seattle and what the response would be.”

Klebeck said Dallas was chosen in part because the founders have friends and family in that city, and also because of the strong rapport visitors from Dallas feel for Top Pot.

The brand is also known outside this region because of its exposure on the Food Network and the Travel Channel, Klebeck said.

Top Pot is not launching an all-out bid for world dominion. Klebeck said it has been very methodical in deciding when and where it opens new locations.

That said, over the past 18 months Top Pot has been mulling the creation of a franchise concept to open stores in other states. “Part of our due diligence is selecting the right operator that can mirror the success we have had with our company-operated stores,” Klebeck added.

Top Pot started out 12 years ago in Capitol Hill. It claims a “rabid fan base” for its “hand-forged” doughnuts.

Now it has 15 so-called doughnut lounges in the Puget Sound area — which will soon be joined by a new store at 888 Western Ave. near Pioneer Square. The store, also to open in the spring, will be convenient to ferry commuters, the company said.

The Dallas store is not the first time that Top Pot’s doughnuts will leave their sugar trail outside of the Puget Sound area. Starbucks started selling the pastries in its stores in 2005, taking them to several states. The partnership ended in 2011.

Top Pot-branded doughnuts are also sold in all QFC stores and in Ralphs stores in Southern California.

Ángel González: 206-464-2250 or On Twitter: @gonzalezseattle

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