LA GRANDE — Voodoo Doughnuts co-founder Tres Shannon will be the featured speaker at Eastern Oregon University’s Entrepreneurship Club’s fall Pub Talk Oct. 24 at Side A Brewing & Firehouse Museum, 1219 Washington Ave., La Grande. Shannon will share the history of the business — known for its pink boxes and doughnuts that push the limits of edible art — and discuss his journey as an entrepreneur. 

The Entrepreneurship Club at EOU hosts regular Pub Talks with entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the academic year. 

“One thing that is pivotal in the entrepreneurial community is for entrepreneurs to have heroes — people who have been there and done that and can show they started out just like you,” said Wilson Zehr, the Entrepreneurship Club’s faculty adviser.

Voodoo Doughnuts started out in Old Town Portland with Richard “Tres” Shannon and Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson. The founders have built a nationally recognized brand from one original shop in Portland. There are now eight stores, with two of the newest located at Universal Studios in Orlando and Hollywood. 

Zehr met Shannon during a photoshoot in Portland after coaching football with a real estate broker who worked with Voodoo Doughnuts. He said relationship-building and networking like this is another big part of what Pub Talks are meant to do.

“The intent is not only to inspire young entrepreneurs but to help foster an entrepreneurial community, while creating opportunities to build relationships and establish networks,” Zehr said. 

The EOU Pub Talk series was inspired by Portland’s Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. Zehr described how local entrepreneurs got together in an informal environment with peers to discuss their businesses and the challenges they were facing, and to share tips with one another. He said this model has helped launch the startup scene in a number of cities.

EOU’s Pub Talks are all recorded at available for viewing at www.livestream.com/eou/entrepreneurclub.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the talk begins at 6 p.m. Food and drinks are available. This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Wilson Zehr or wzehr@eou.edu

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