How did two humanitarians end up owning and managing a donut cafe? I wondered, so I invited the owners of Wilmington's The Donut Inn to the studio for a chat. Matt Anlyan and Allen Renquist had a lot to say about the kind of outreach a business like theirs can do; listen to an excerpt from Renquist above.
Anlyan and Renquist just purchased The Donut Inn in December, 2016, but they worked together for years prior at the fast-growing non-profit Stop Hunger Now, recently rebranded as Rise Against Hunger. With that kind of background, neither can tolerate food waste, and they both know how a business can help a non-profit. The food they don't use (which includes donuts and an array of breakfast and lunch sandwiches) primarily goes to The Hope Center and Vigilant Hope, Wilmington organizations providing services to homeless people. But they save their Saturday extras for other situations that pop up unexpectedly (including Plastic Oceans Project, Wilmington Garden Club, NHRMC's neonatal intensive care unit, Wrightsville Beach Museum, Full Belly Project, and-full disclosure-WHQR).
Renquist started working for Stop Hunger Now at its start back in 2007; Anlyan a little more than a year later. They both learned about the balance that was possible between businesses and needs in the community. They set a goal for The Donut Inn to donate 1000 dozen donuts this year, but it looks like that number will be surpassed; in early May, they had already donated 628 dozen.
Anlyan and Renquist believe that organizing business from the start with a plan to serve the people in the area is the best way for any business to become a full member of the community. They say nearly every business has food, talent, or other goods that can be put to use by a local non-profit.