CASPER, Wyo. — Legend has it, a wise man once uttered sage advice after surviving a terrifying ride on a monorail:
“Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?”
OK, so the quote is by the beloved idiot Homer Simpson, a mere cartoon character. However, many far smarter people might still agree with those sentiments.
Rich Konkler could be one of them, particularly after he and his brother, Ray, purchased the beloved mini-donut kiosk at the Ford Wyoming Center in 2020. Since then, they’ve sold thousands of the little nuggets of joy to throngs of Casper’s hungry event-goers. Just during the recent Snoop Dogg concert, Rich said the donuts brought in more than $5,000 in four hours.
Before buying the snack kiosk, the brothers formed the Windy City Delivery service a couple of years earlier, which they sold in recently.
Hoping to expand on their food service success, the brothers leased the building at 4910 E. 2nd St., near the Home Depot parking lot. Originally built for a Chipotle franchise, it was most recently occupied by Craves until it closed in December.
The brothers knew they wanted to feature traditional donuts in their new operation, but the remainder of the concept took a bit more planning.
“I had a friend call me from Kansas City, and we were talking about the mini donuts and how awesome they were selling, and started talking about finding a good name [for the business],” said Rich.
His friend suggested “Glazed and Confuzed,” but it was Rich who landed on replacing the “s” with a “z.”
“We’re the only people with the ‘z’ and we have the ability to get a national trademark,” he said.
After the name and logo came the real work. The building needed modifications for their vision, so new cooktops and other kitchen equipment was installed and some walls were taken out to open up the space. Darker areas have been brightened, and all-new furniture has been ordered.
One of the reasons for the upgrade was the need for the right flattop grill.
“So we’re doing smash burgers, and they had a 48-inch grill,” said Rich. “We had to buy that, and of course the donut system.”
That system has yet to be delivered because of manufacturing delays. Rich says they hope to have that installed by early next month.
Other investments include state-of-the-art digital ordering screens and intercom systems, including new systems for the drive-thru. Rich says the system will enable peak efficiency with mobile, online, drive-thru and dining room orders. There is also a plan to install screens at tables where customers can order remotely.
“It automatically goes to the kitchen, so you don’t have to worry about going up and waiting in line if you don’t want to,” he said.
The restaurant will also offer delivery options, using vendors such as Windy City Delivery. The orders can be made to the restaurant, and they will facilitate using the quickest available delivering service, he said.
Food testing has been ongoing, but the lunch menu featuring smash burgers, fries, soups, salads and sides is complete. They’ll also serve baked potatoes, which Rich says is a unique feature in the Casper market.
Keeping with the donut theme, those with a craving for the sweet and savory can order donut buns instead of regular buns on their burgers. Rich says they plan to offer an onion burger, a popular item in Oklahoma, in which the onions are smashed into the meat while on the grill.
After the donut equipment arrives, Rich says they’ll offer traditional donuts, some elevated donuts, and a mochi donut, which is a lighter, fluffier donut first popularized in Japan. There is also a donut ice cream sandwich.
The breakfast menu will feature various breakfast sandwiches, coffee and, naturally, donuts. There will also be a simplified late-night menu designed for quick service with a smaller crew.
Rich says they plan to soft open later this week, with more food and services added over the next several weeks as any unforeseen kinks are worked out.
Opening a non-chain casual dining and takeout restaurant is risky, but Rich believes they can make a go at it in Casper if the service is right.
“I can tell you, the great thing about Casper is the way the community works with local businesses,” he said. “The support, you would never get that in a place like Denver or Fort Collins because it’s just so saturated there.
“If we do our due diligence, if we treat people properly and make sure our pricing is right and the quality is there, I think we have a great opportunity.”
An earlier version of this post had a name misspelled. It has been corrected.