One of the perks of growing up with a restaurateur mom and an Iron Chef stepdad is that when you decide to move hundreds of miles away with dreams of opening a coffee shop, no one questions the plan. This is how 30-year-old Kyle Shanahan, whose mom, Liz, is married to Michael Symon, ended up with not only a popular new coffee shop in Sag Harbor, NY, but also a doughnut business to go with it.
Of course, dreaming about a coffee shop is much easier than actually opening one. Kyle had been jotting down ideas for his own place for years—ever since he helped open a café in Lakewood, OH, in his early 20s. In 2012, he moved from Cleveland to East Hampton, NY (where his parents live part-time), and started hunting for a storefront, but he couldn’t find one for less than $20,000 a month. In the meantime, to cover living expenses, he took jobs at Kmart and at a historical-society thrift store. “It was just me and 50 women my grandmother’s age,” he says, laughing. After almost three years, he stumbled on an affordable space in nearby Sag Harbor—but the town already had several coffee shops.
Kyle and Michael, who now owns 20 restaurants, thought about ways to broaden the menu with gelato, cookies and breakfast sandwiches. “When Michael mentioned doughnuts, I loved the idea right away. Doughnuts are fun,you can walk around holding them and they would distinguish us,” Kyle says. He applied for