The Sweet Spot: Churrology Plans Summer Debut in Leesburg

Finding late summer 2017’s newest taste sensation in Leesburg won’t be hard at all. Just look for one of last year’s most popular—and sweetest—new businesses.

Churrology will be bringing a West Coast food staple—the churro—to the downtown area, and will be run out of the already popular B Doughnut, whose sweet and savory doughnuts have developed their own cult following. Business at B Doughnut has been so swift since its December opening that the shop often finds its daily, freshly made doughnut supply drained by noon, and its doors thusly closed for the day.

Enter Churrology. Anhthu Pham, who works at her friends Brian and Pin Chanthapanya’s B Doughnut shop along with managing a Tysons Corner restaurant, will debut her churro concept in the late summer months. Churrology will open for the day when B Doughnut closes—the exact schedule is not yet nailed down, but Pham said she foresees Churrology opening after noon and staying open until the late afternoon or early evening hours.

For Pham, undertaking her first business venture has been an interesting journey. After graduating from George Mason University with a nursing degree, Pham decided the medical field wasn’t for her. She began working in the restaurant industry and, after working her way up the ladder, now serves as manager of the Chasin’ Tails restaurant.

“My mom planted a seed in my head—since I have the knowledge of managing a place maybe I could come up with a concept and open my own place,” Pham said.

She began saving up her money to make that dream a reality. She flew to Los Angeles in search of some West Coast food concepts that had not yet made their way onto the East Coast scene.

Abby Villasenor, one of the women behind Churrology, fries churros in the kitchen of B Doughnuts. Soon, the storefront and kitchen will operate as B Doughnuts in the mornings and Churrology in the afternoons. [Douglas Graham/Loudoun Now]
“I fell in love with this churro shop,” she said. “And I thought Loudoun County is a very diverse area where people are so open to different cultures, why not bring it to this area and dress it up with different toppings?”

She told the Chanthapanyas of her idea, and they had an idea of their own.

“They said, ‘why don’t you open it here,'” Pham said. “This place is naked from noon on. It’s the perfect opportunity for a start-up.”

The businesses both see the positive impacts the space-sharing arrangement can have. In addition to splitting the cost of rent, it can also be an opportunity for both businesses to cross-promote, Pin Chanthanpaya said. With B Doughnut’s established following, Churrology has already received considerable attention from its social media fans. And Churrology’s opening could draw out new customers who had not yet made their way to B Doughnut.

Pham recognizes that most locals’ only exposure to churros has been via the Costco food court. But there will be a big difference with what Churrology will serve up, she says.

“The difference between Costco churros and what I will be offering is these are going to be handmade, made-to-order, not frozen or anything,” she said.

Fresh churros
[Doug Graham/Loudoun Now]
The Ashburn resident also employed her mom in her quality control efforts leading up to Churrology’s opening, perfecting the texture of the churros and the different glazes and toppings that will be available to customers. Glazes will include the custom glaze, vanilla, caramel, white chocolate and chocolate, she said, and toppings will include Fruity Pebbles, Oreos, s’mores ingredients and more. Pham said she is trying to keep her offerings “as simple as possible” and not have an enormous toppings bar, like popular frozen yogurt chains, to overwhelm customers. Guests will also have the option to add a side of soft-serve ice cream to their churro, she said.

With a few months remaining to perfect her concoctions, Pham said she is already hearing excitement from B Doughnut customers about her impending opening.

“People are coming into B Doughnut asking about Churrology,” Pham said. “It’s a crazy reality check that it’s actually happening.”

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

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