Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We Should All Be So Crazy



By GEOFF WILLIAMS, AOL SMALL BUSINESS
Posted: 2009-08-04 15:50:44
Filed Under: Small Business, Marketing

www.psycho-donuts.com

Every small business owner hopes to have a product that their customers are crazy for. They don't all want to drive them crazy.

But Psycho Donuts apparently is happy with both.

In the little town of Campbell, California, near San Jose, ever since Psycho Donuts opened up several months ago, they've been the target of ire from local mental health organizations. As the Psycho Donuts web site says, they've "taken the neighborhood donut and put it on medication, and given it a shock treatment."


Psycho Donuts Poll
The doughnuts, indeed, look like someone deranged may have designed them. The doughnut with the name "psycho" is slathered in not just vanilla and chocolate icing, but pretzels. Their "bipolar" doughnut is half smothered in nuts and half with coconut. And if you miss the theme, well, it's hard to, with the bakery's padded cell shrine and the walls decorated with paintings of silly and goofy faces as well as a neon sign reading, "Bates Motel." And the staff wears lab coats and nurse outfits.

Harmless or not, every local mental health group in the area seems to be challenging Psycho Donuts' right to exist. About a week ago, Kipp Berdiansky, the owner of Psycho Donuts, appeared on a local TV station with Oscar Wright, CEO of United Advocates for Children and Families for a televised debate about the bakery. And now a San Francisco chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness is planning a Sunday morning march at the corner streets of the store this Sunday at 11 a.m., PST. Mental health critics claim that bakeries like Psycho Donuts are hurting people who are mentally ill and feel burdened by the stigma that goes along with it.


Of course, by decrying what Psycho Donuts are doing, organizations like the National Alliance for Mental Illness have brought massive local and national publicity to the bakery as well as attention to themselves. As the saying goes, maybe they're all crazy -- as a fox.

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