The Donut Shop owner John Schwager makes his confections fresh on-site every morning. [Photo by Heila Ershadi / Moab Sun News]

“I think I make a pretty good donut,” said John Schwager, owner of The Donut Shop.

Schwager said he learned to make the fried dough confections from a donut consultant whose family has been in the donut business for half a century.

Schwager said the idea for the shop arose when he and his business partner, Karen Kidwell, were visiting Moab in the summer of 2017.

“I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a donut shop in town,” Schwager said.

At the time, Schwager and Kidwell owned an architectural printing business in Pasadena. However, they were considering transitioning out of that industry.

“Let’s just do it,” Schwager recalled saying to Kidwell. “Let’s move to Moab and start the donut shop we’ve been talking about.”

The Donut Shop (65 E. Center St., Moab) opened in August of last year.

Schwager described his product as “classic American donuts” and said his business has been well-supported by Moab locals.

“My business plan is geared toward the local people, not so much tourists,” he said. “The local people have been very supportive and wonderful for my business.”

He said he has relied a lot on the visibility of his shop and word-of-mouth.

“You make a good product and you sell it at a good price, people will come,” he said.

Customer favorites include the “raised glazed,” which Schwager called “the foundation of any donut shop.” He also sells a bismark pastry (a filled pastry that is like a donut, but without a hole) made with peaches from nearby Palisade, Colo., that is very popular.

“Everyone goes crazy about donut holes,” Schwager added.

Working around donuts all the time, Schwager said, he does a lot of donut sampling, but rarely eats a whole one.

He added: “Sometimes I’ll give in and go for two.”

His personal favorites are the raised glaze and the raised sugar donut.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Schwager was deemed an “essential worker” and kept his shop open – though he still took a financial blow, especially from the loss of commercial sales he had expected to make to hotels, campgrounds and RV parks.

However, he found plenty of takers in the community as the pandemic affected everyone and everything.

“Donuts are a comfort food. Donuts make people happy,” he said.

Schwager said he got a big boost from Moab City Attorney Laurie Simonson, and her wife, Julie Baird, who purchased thousands of dollars worth of donuts for senior citizens at the Grand Center over the course of two months. He praised the couple for their generosity.

Schwager said it hasn’t been too hard to adapt to the increased health measures during the pandemic.

“I’ve got the mask and the Purell,” he said. “It’s a donut shop, you’ve got to keep it clean anyway.”

The Donut Shop also has a modest selection of drinks for sale, including bottles of milk and some juices, but Schwager said he runs a very straightforward business.

“It’s just all about the donuts,” he said.

The donut shop is open Tuesday through Sunday from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. (unless the donuts sell out earlier). It may be reached by emailing or by calling 435-355-0738.

Center Street shop serves ‘classic American donuts’

“Donuts make people happy.”

– John Schwager

When: Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: 65 E. Center St., Moab

More info: The Donut Shop Facebook page, Instagram

Contact:, 435-355-0738