The Naughty Girls Concept
The Naughty Girls Donut Shop combines two of Tiana's’ favorite ideas -- decadent and delicious food and a fun and flirty atmosphere. She had been fine tuning the concept for two years when the business opportunity presented itself. Naughty Girls’ time had come. It all presented it self when a man at her father's job asked to take her to lunch. While at lunch she told him her dream and he gave her a check to begin this dream.
And it came fast. Just a few months after the concept was finalized, the shop opened its first location in Front Royal, Virginia in June of 2014. “Once I decided to go for it,”Tiana said, “everything came together so quickly. I realized that I had been considering it for so long, I had already made most of the decisions.”
Tiana has an unreasonable affection for the glamorous pin-up girls of the 1940s. Old-fashioned? Yes. Dated? You bet. But fun and flirty for sure.
The restaurant look and feel, and the carefully designed wait staff uniforms fit in with the theme. Each outfit is slightly different, and each captures the mood of the shop. Bright reds and pinks abound at every turn; the look is clean and cheerful, with a hint of wholesome naughtiness. While posters of Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Bettie Page tempt customers with their come-hither smiles, the donuts also beckon -- a sweet indulgence we know we should resist, but choose not to.
The concept seems to mesh perfectly with the food that Tiana and her mom loves to create -- sweet and gooey, with flavors that surprise and delight. Even many of the savory options have a hint of sweetness -- chicken served with honey pecan glaze, for instance -- and all entrees come with donuts on the side. Of course. Tiana often tells everyone "I love sweets and my mom loves savory. . .we are perfect together".
Sweet is swell, but quality counts. Naughty Girls Donuts makes scratch-made donuts every day.
Sweet is swell, but quality counts. Naughty Girls Donuts makes scratch-made donuts every day. Offering an array of gourmet flavors made from fresh, local ingredients, visitors will have a tough time deciding between choices from the Grable Collection (classic cake donuts with a flavorful twist); the Monroe Collection (yeast donuts with unique combinations of toppings); and the Page Collection (yeast donuts with over-the-top fillings). Customers can also personalize their donuts, by ordering hot donuts and adding their own choice of toppings.
Breakfast options include a variety of Donut Palm Panini Sandwiches, and lunch customers can choose between Fried Chicken and Lunch Palm Panini Sandwiches.
And in an epic brainstorm, Natalie came up with the idea of Drunkin Donuts -- for those over 21.
Behind the Scenes
Any visitor to Naughty Girls Donut Shop will be able to see at a glance the mood of the shop and the food on display. But it’s what’s behind the scenes that makes Naughty Girls such a unique endeavor. Naughty Girls is a family business. The shop is run by the owner Tiana Ramos with the aide of parents Natalie and Miguel Ramos. In addition, the shop is fully managed by high school students.
Tiana's mom, Natalie is a graduate of the prestigious culinary school at Johnson & Wales University. She has worked in various restaurants, including the Hard Rock Café, Reese Organizations and the Hyatt Regency. She has also worked in numerous corporate settings for Unidine, Sodexo Corporation and the Compass Group, as the director of Food and Nutrition. Natalie is the marketing genius behind Naughty Girls. She was able to take Tiana's vision and make it into reality.
Miguel worked for 20 years in marketing in the food industry before signing on with the U.S. National Guard and joining Amazon as a member of the management team. Miguel handles the business side of Naughty Girls.
A high school junior, daughter Tiana turned out to be the impetus for moving Naughty Girls from concept to fruition. She confessed to her parents her desire to be a pastry chef, and it was the push her parents needed to make their dream a reality. Tiana, not only designed the menus and the concept of the restaurant, but she will continue to work at Naughty Girls, making the donuts and running the shop as she finishes up high school, when she’ll attend a culinary institute before returning to the shop to take it to the next level of success.
Because Tiana is the driving force behind Naughty Girls, the focus is to ensure the shop has some staying power. “We are designing our management structure so that all of our employees feel they are a key part of Naughty Girls’ success. Each employee is a student from high school and they are focused on helping to make sure that Naughty Girls becomes their brand of choice. They will be paid well, and be financially vested in our success. As we open more stores in other locations, staff from our Front Royal shop will be chosen to lead other locations.
"We want this to be a place that’s fun to work, but that offers employees a future with us if they want it, and are willing to work for it."
Naughty Girls has a room set aside as a “dressing room” for the wait staff to dress and prepare for their shifts. The unique, specially designed uniforms stay on site and are laundered there. Natalie said, “Our employees know that we respect them and appreciate the great job that they do. They are the core of our business. We couldn’t succeed without them.”
Tiana believes that it takes a community to raise a child and she believes that it is because of the community that she is a success. As a result, Tiana offers discounts for senior citizens (“My mom made me,” she says.); U.S. Armed Servicemen and women; students; and for those who shop at other local businesses. Daily specials offer more chances to save on an already competitively priced menu.
Tiana believes in supporting local farmers, and uses nearby businesses as much as possible when purchasing necessaries for the shop.
Bullying has received a lot of press in recent months. There has been exhaustive coverage of face-to-face confrontations, as well as the insidious bullying that happens on social media. This awareness campaign has resulted in some real progress. Everyone agrees, bullying can be devastating to the victim and should be prevented.
Tiana, a 17-year-old pastry chef, has endured her share of painful attacks; she has managed to shake off the criticism and come back stronger. But when someone came into her shop recently and began to bully one of her waitresses, she saw the hurt it caused. Tiana knew she couldn’t erase the memory of those hurtful words for her friend. There was only one way to make it better: the bully needed to take back the hurt and make room for healing. And with that effort, the bully could begin healing too.
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