Heather Morris is one of our “sweetest” clients: Here is an interview with Destination Donuts.
Where did the name Destination Donuts come from?
My husband and I were kicking around different name ideas and came up with Destination Donuts. We wanted something welcoming but additionally made our customer feel like there is a purpose for coming to my shop. It’s a DESTINATION and once there you can get donuts like no other offered here in Columbus
What sparked your passion in donuts?
I have loved donuts ever since I was a kid. They have always been kind of magical to me…the sweet delicate glaze, the puffy fried dough with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, fillings of sweet jams, fluffy chocolate or custard. They are just delightful! They just always make me happy when I eat them. As an adult I’ve found there are fewer independently owned donut shops that hand craft their product and I want to change that.
What was the biggest challenge to getting started?
I found that one of my biggest challenges was overcoming my own fears of failure. Knowing the statistics regarding failure rates of restaurants, I knew that I was taking a very big risk doing this. Additionally, I knew that I had to get people to understand that yes, you can get a donut at the grocery store and pay a 1/3 of what I am asking……but what I offer is so much better and worth spending a little extra.
What has been your biggest surprise since starting the business?
There has been a couple of revelations to me since starting the business. One is that although I am a relatively shy and reserved person that does not like being the center of attention, I am really loving connecting with my customers! I thoroughly enjoy talking with people, explaining the different flavors, proclaiming the merits of utilizing wholesome ingredients and getting feedback on what they want. Who knew?!? I’ve also been surprised/overwhelmed with balancing everything in my life. Between working a full time job, starting a new business, being a mother to a wonderful little kid and a wife to a great husband it all seems like a daunting process at times. There are never enough hours in the day. But I know that all the hard work and sleep deprivation will pay off in the long run. Life is too short not to pursue your dreams.
What do you like best about owning your business?
I love talking with people about my product and turning them on to something new. Getting to experience repeat customers and hearing them talk about what they like, what they want, how they look forward to getting my donuts…that is the best. It makes me truly happy and brings me back to that feeling I had when I was a kid…the wonder, the love, the excitement.
Where do you hope to see your business in 1 – 3 years?
My hope is that within a year I will have a permanent storefront at the North Market and that my business will continue to grow. Additionally I hope to get my product in some of the specialty markets like Weilands Gourmet Market, Hills Market, Whole Foods and of course some local coffee shops. From there the sky is the limit!
Any advice for new food based businesses?
Definitely. Do your research, learn about your potential customer, take as many classes and read about what it takes to set yourself up for success. NETWORK! There are a wealth of resources out there available to an entrepreneur. Utilize the ECDI, SBA.gov, SCORE and other restaurateurs. Columbus is a great test market and everyone in the foodservice industry I’ve found is open to sharing information. And lastly, believe in yourself and your product. Lots of people will try and dissuade you from pursuing your dreams. Don’t listen to them.
You can find more about Destination Donuts – including when you can find them at the North Market below.
A blurb from the blog – Breakfast with Nick:
The newest kid on the donut block can be found at North Market on the weekend. Starting in November, Heather Morris, the self-styled “donut queen,” began selling baked goods under Destination Donuts (destinationdonuts.com). Heather has had donuts in her blood since she was a child.
“I used to steal money from the washing machine to get a donut on the way to school,” she said. Later in life, Heather shadowed the donut-makers at Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco, and now in Columbus she secured the support of EDCI’s Food Fort and began crafting donuts of her own. She’s established a simple menu of complex tastes, like Thai Peanut and Pumpkin Pecan. Her Chocolate Insanity blends a chocolate donut, chocolate ganache, and crushed Oreos, while the Dueling Vanilla features both Tahitian and Madagascar vanillas.