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‘Good Company’ in Ballston Rakes in the Dough

(Updated 11:20 a.m.) Bad traffic on Glebe Road is partially to blame for the success of a new donut shop.

The veteran-owned Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe (672 N. Glebe Road) is celebrating a better-than-expected first few months after opening in April.

“We beat our expectations for the first 90 days,” said Kate Murphy, one of the owners of Good Company. “We’re at about 20 percent higher sales than we’d expected.”

“We sell about 400 doughnuts a day and 600 on weekends,” Murphy elaborated. “So that’s about 3,000-4,000 per week, not including orders.”

Murphy said the eatery has also seen higher levels of catering and wholesale accounts than they had anticipated. Plus, Good Company is getting good reviews: ranking 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp with 66 reviews.

It all adds up to a promising start for the business, despite being across the street from a big food-centric mall on the less-trodden side of N. Glebe Road, where other restaurants have struggled.

Many of the store customers are neighbors. Restaurants that rely heavily on workers as the customer base can tend to see declines on weekends, but Murphy said having neighbors as a reliable source of customers has given them boosted weekend sales.

Murphy once ran a donut shop in New Hampshire before she moved to Arlington. She said Sunday was the store’s least busy day, but at Good Company it’s the busiest.

The embrace from the nearby residential communities is partially because Good Company is one of the few new, independent restaurants in the area on the western side of Glebe Road.

“The neighborhood is really anxious to have something on this side of Glebe Road so they don’t have to play frogger with traffic,” Murphy said.

There are other Ballston-area donut and pastry shops like Dunkin Donuts and the new Sidekick and District Doughnuts in Ballston Quarter. Murphy said her store has had to adapt and incorporate some unique flavors and offerings, but for the most part the shop is the kind of classic donut-and-coffee shop the clientele grew up visiting.

“We’re more traditional,” Murphy said. “People still come for the classics… We roll the dough out and hand-cut each of them.”

Honey Dip — fancy talk for “glazed” — is the restaurant’s most popular item, followed by chocolate frosted with sprinkles. The latter is a particular hit with children.

But Murphy isn’t a donut-luddite. Maple bacon donuts are now a staple of the store, and while Murphy said her old shop had maple donuts, they wouldn’t have thought to add bacon.

One of the biggest challenges the restaurant faced early on was building a quality staff, which Murphy attributed to the low unemployment rate in the area. But now, Murphy said she has assembled a team that lives up to the store’s name and is more comfortable handing the reins over to catch a break during the day — critical given that the baking starts at midnight or earlier for the following day.

The company is currently getting ready for some of its first community events, with plans to set up coffee and donut stands at the Arlington County Fair, the Marine Corp Marathon, and the Arlington Turkey Trot 5K.

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