SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS) -- Known for their oversized-gourmet donuts, the “Donut Bar” in Scottsdale has suddenly closed its doors for good, leaving many people wondering what happened.
This comes after the recent abrupt closing of two other Donut Bar locations in California.
Where there once sat rows of jelly- filled and maple-glossed donuts, are now just a whiff of empty display windows and barren shelves.
“There was three really hard parts. One, the financial burdens -- the debts. Two was letting our staff go. That was challenging," said Sheley Brien. "But, the worst one was when we told our kids.”
It had been the lifelong dream of Brien and her husband to open a business.
Last year the part-time fitness enthusiasts settled on, of all things, a donut shop.
“I was there every single day, getting everything ready to go,” said Brien.
But during the initial construction, red flags started popping up.
“Numerous misrepresentations building the kitchen, all of the tile, the countertop, decorations,” said Brien.
Double the costs of what the Donut Bar brand said it would be, Brien said the build-out alone set her back $800,000.
“These are the numbers they claimed their store is doing,” said Brien.
Despite selling out of donuts almost every day, the finances weren’t matching up.
“They were just wrong,” said Brien.
And, it wasn’t just them. Two stores in the San Diego area closed within months of opening. Another halted the project mid-construction.
"So it wasn’t a one-off. Scottsdale doesn’t know what they’re doing. These numbers were replicated,” said Brien.
The franchisees have filed an arbitration case against the Donut Bar franchise operation.
“Breach of contract. Fraud misrepresentation. There was just very little if any response,” said Brien.
Arizona’s Family tried reaching out to it’s co-founder, Santiago Campa, for his comment, but he never returned our calls.
Brien’s advice to others thinking about opening a franchise:
“I don’t regret taking the jump, but I would do it with an established brand."