When we first followed Your Mom’s Donuts, it really did involve following: We chased co-owner Courtney Buckley through her morning routine delivering fresh, warm doughnuts around Charlotte.
It’s been several years since she parked the car and concentrated on her shop on Monroe Road near N.C. 51. Now Buckley is making some changes in her business. First, she opened her first expansion in Monroe in December. Now she’s planning to open even more.
While the original shop, 11025 Monroe Road, will remain open (“you’ll always be able to come and get doughnuts”), Buckley is expanding the kitchen to make doughnuts for more locations.
“I’d like to get five more this year,” she says. “It’s more about finding the right small spots, the right small, quirky areas.”
Since the kitchen operations will stay at the original shop, she’s aiming at small spaces, such as the 450 square feet in her new Monroe shop, 217 N. Hayne St. While the Your Mom’s cart uptown is on break in the winter, she is still operating her stand at the Davidson Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
While she’s looking for a spot in Davidson and possibly in NoDa, she says her first target will be “super South Charlotte or even over the border.”
“Fort Mill is on my radar now,” she says.
While Buckley says she isn’t franchising, she has been setting up partnerships with people who are committed to running her shops, such as her arrangement in Monroe.
Her business model has changed a lot since she opened in 2013. Back then, her partner Benjamin Frye, a culinary graduate of Johnson & Wales University, was the chef while Buckley handled the business. Frye has since left and Buckley has found other people to do the cooking while she focuses on delivering and selling doughnuts.
She still uses local ingredients to make doughnuts with a wide range of quirky flavors. (And yes, her doughnuts are still square instead of round.) Buckley has bought a small farm herself and expects to grow some things for the shop, as well as produce as many eggs as possible, while still getting what she can from local growers.
“It’s crucial to me that as we expand, we continue to provide handmade, fresh doughnuts made from ingredients that allow us to support local farms, as we have always done.”
After opening in the middle of a Charlotte doughnut explosion, Buckley has learned a lot about doughnut supporters.
“There are people that come through because they just want a doughnut, and there are people that come because they love us,” she says.
“I love this business so much. We have customers we met when they were pregnant with their first kid and now they have two or three. It’s awesome to watch the families grow.”
This story first ran at CharlotteObserver.com.
Photos: John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer, Your Mom’s Donuts