Sumter Pendergrast, Founder Sidecar Doughnuts

Sumter Pendergrast, Founder Sidecar Doughnuts
I'd like to fancy myself as a doughnut connoisseur. But even I was stumped when Sumter Pendergrast approached my husband and me about his desire to open a gourmet doughnut shop in Orange County. The lesson learned here is that passion drives creativity and innovation. Sumter shares his story in his laid back and unassuming way.

I met Sumter on my honeymoon….b/c my husband invited him. That’s right! We invited friends to our honeymoon, which was a surf trip in Fiji. Why not?! Life’s too short to spend your honeymoon with complete strangers, right? 

Immediately, I knew that Sumter was my kind of person. He’s incredibly creative, loves music, and is a risk taker. At the time, Sumter was running a high-end t-shirt brand called EFCI. He sold into Fred Segal, Nordstrom, and those types of retailers. After 10 years, direct-to-consumer business models hadn’t yet taken hold, and despite huge margins, he realized that bootstrapping a clothing brand wasn’t sustainable. 

One afternoon, after he was a newlywed with a baby on the way, he sat in our family room playing guitar, and told us about his idea for a gourmet doughnut shop. Playing the older sibling role, we cautioned him against it…and boy were we wrong! Tune in to hear all about how Sumter took his passion for design and turned it into a high-successful and difficult-to-replicate business model! 

About Sumter Pendergrast

Sumter is a self-professed serial entrepreneur whose first passion is design. He spent 10 years in the fashion industry launching two brands. Then in 2012 he opted for a change of scenery. Inspired by the idea of re-inventing an American staple – the doughnut shop- he ventured into the food and beverage space where he took his knowledge of brand building and design and created Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee

Sumter is the Founder and CEO of Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee. Sidecar was launched in April of 2012 in Costa Mesa, CA. Currently Sidecar has six locations in Southern California (OC, LA, and SD) and is currently in construction on its 7th location, which is set to open January 2022.

Recommended media

Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, by L. David Marquet Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, by L. David Marquet
The Theory of Money and Credit, by Ludwig von Mises The Theory of Money and Credit, by Ludwig von Mises
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Follow your passion!

Sumter Pendergrast, Founder Sidecar Doughnuts