Donald’s Donuts, a new food station in The Den, serves custom, scratch-made doughnuts to the University family.
The shop, which opened this semester, runs Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 10 a.m. where Esteban’s is located. The doughnuts cost $1.69 each, and they can be bought in a dozen for $16.99. After chapel, Donald’s Donuts can be purchased from the Pod, Cuppa Jones and Cuppa Jones Express.
Brent Wustman, senior general manager for Aramark on campus, said the doughnuts are made at the Esteban’s location. “We’re actually making them right there,” Wustman said. Students can customize their freshly made doughnuts, adding toppings such as sprinkles, chocolate chips and different varieties of cereal.
Roy Hulehan, BJU director of retail, compared this customization to Subway’s sandwich-making process. “We’ll make it the way you like it,” Hulehan said. The store is named after Donald Smith, who worked as a baker at BJU for about 55 years.
He became known for making doughnuts and bread at the dining common. After the University decided to outsource to Aramark, Smith retired from BJU and continued working in the dining common for Aramark, crafting pizzas.
Smith began his time at the University studying to go into the ministry, but God had different plans. “The Lord took a man with desperation for ministry and made a cook out of him,” Smith said.
Hulehan said the naming was done to honor Smith and his long-term service as well as to honor other retirees. “We see it as honoring all of our retirees when we recognize one of the group,” Hulehan said. Hulehan and Wustman worked on Donald’s Donuts after they struggled with a national brand BJU had previously used for doughnuts.
They looked at different options in Greenville to replace the national brand, but Wustman didn’t find many options in the area. “I said, ‘Let’s see if we can make our own doughnuts,’” Wustman said. Hulehan said that using an original brand rather than a national one makes things less cookie cutter and more personal.
“I think it makes us, again, a little bit different than just any other college retail location,” Hulehan said. “I think we have a better product than even the local places.” Both Hulehan and Wustman hope to expand the offerings of Donald’s Donuts to include seasonal options. Wustman said they were thinking about an apple cider variety for apple season, and Hulehan suggested a red velvet doughnut for Valentine’s Day.
Hulehan said he wanted students to be able to get a fresh snack on campus that was better than a plain glazed doughnut, but he also didn’t want to just make a different product: he wanted to make a special one.
Wustman said they chose to use the Esteban’s location to use the equipment that was already available. “That space was not being used in the mornings,” Wustman said. “So it just made sense.”
After consulting Smith, Hulehan and Wustman wanted to open the shop last January, but problems arose with the doughnut machine. So they found a different machine and worked toward opening it this fall.
In addition to serving the student body in The Den, Donald’s Donuts can also cater to different campus events, including society events.