Monday, May 18, 2009

Psycho Donuts

Would you buy a pastry with a name that flirts with serious mental illnesses? A new doughnut shop in Campbell, California called Psycho Donuts has stirred up some controversy since opening up last March. The store sells pastries with names like “Psycho” and “Bipolar” making light of what protesters call serious illnesses that should not be taken lightly. The community’s mental health advocates have been protesting the doughnut shop and in recent weeks the picketing has reached a new level. Mental health workers say that there is a stigma that comes with being mentally ill and that Psycho Donuts is perpetuating that stigma. Owners of the store say that their intention is not to poke fun at mental illness but to do something “that’s light-hearted and fun”. They also say that for them they are referring to the doughnuts as crazy and they are not making any statement about people. Residents of the city of Campbell are intrigued by the doughnut shop and its controversial theme. On the store’s website, they say:

Psycho Donuts has taken donuts to the next demented level. We bid a fond farewell to the tired, round ring of lameness, and the drab, time-weathered environment of doughnut past. Psycho Donuts has taken the neighborhood donut and put it on medication, and given it shock treatment.

They have a “padded cell” display and customers can take pictures with a straitjacket on. An art display called the “nutcase art display” is placed in the shop as a part of the d├ęcor as well as a flat screen TV that plays a slide show of Rorschach images. The staff at Psycho Donuts are decked out in doctor coats and nurse uniforms with stethoscopes, syringes and all. The owners of the shop Kip Berdiansky, who has done stand-up comedy and Jordan Vweigoran say that the idea behind Psycho Donuts was to reinvent the doughnut idea and to try to make their business stand out in a time of recession. The idea certainly has made them stand out but whether or not it is working to their benefit is yet to be seen. Source

Would you visit Psycho Donuts? Do you find the theme of this new pastry shop to be offensive? Share your thoughts on Psycho Donuts with us by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit
: Courtesy of Psycho Donuts

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