Gorilla Donuts is king of the pastry world

King City resident David Chamberlin buys a box of Gorilla Donuts
King City resident David Chamberlin buys a box of Gorilla Donuts from Bailey Banks and Jose Abraham Velazquez. Barbara Sherman/Tigard Life

Now you can buy happiness in the King City Plaza shopping center.

Gorilla Donuts, the brainchild of the Velazquez family, only opened recently and already has lots of happy customers. The business is truly a family affair. Mom Edme is the co-owner, dad Martin makes the donuts and other pastries in the kitchen, and son Jose Abraham and his girlfriend Bailey Banks work the front counter.

Martin has been in the restaurant business for 15 years in the Portland area, and the family wanted to open their own place. Once they zeroed in on donuts, the next decision was the location. 

“There are donut shops in downtown Tigard and downtown Tualatin, but there are none in between, so we thought King City was a good location,” Martin said. “Our customers say the location is helpful to them. Our goal is to attract the attention of the customers, who are not used to donuts being in this location, but they are finding out.

“We didn’t need a big space, and this is right in the middle of the shopping center. People come here to shop for other purposes. But the permits and inspections took longer because of the virus. We had our sign here, and people would come by and say, ‘When are you going to open?’ Now, finally, we are open!”

The choice of the name Gorilla also came pretty easy, according to Martin. “Our youngest son is 14 years old and 6-feet-2-inches tall,” he said. “He is like a gorilla.”

While the family chose the location and name of the shop with very little effort, the rest of the process was a lot of hard work.

“I have had this idea for 10 years,” Martin said. “I studied how to do it, and I had to buy equipment. I also did research, especially the preferences of the public, and I am still working on figuring out how many donuts to make.”

The public has been appreciative of all the family’s efforts, said Martin, adding, “People like donuts before or after work. A family came in this morning because it was their son’s birthday, and he wanted a donut.”

Gorilla Donuts also carries the basics that go with donuts like coffee and soft drinks, but Martin added that “our main goal is to sell donuts.”

He is well on his way towards that goal, with customers like one man who comes in every morning for coffee and a donut.

Gorilla Donuts is located at 15577 S.W. 116th Ave. and is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.