It’s been a year since Ignite Donuts first debuted on the streets of Mt. Pleasant.
While co-owner Casey Croad has made a number of changes to his business model, it seems as if Ignite Donuts is poised to succeed now more than ever.
Ignite Donuts and their Donut Kits can now be found every day at the Eastside Market on the campus of Central Michigan University. The company also sells their Donut Kits from a food cart at CMU football games.
It was from that very food cart where Ignite Donuts got their start. The company was originally started by Croad and friends Alec Czarnopys and Jakob Muntz as a food cart business on the streets of downtown Mt. Pleasant.
Czarnopys and Muntz have since left the company, and Chris Eakin is Croad’s new business partner. Rather than rely on a mobile food cart-model, Ignite has since shifted to a wholesale model through a contract with the Aramark Corporation and their deal with CMU.
"Central offers three campus locations and our goal is to expand to the other two. After this year, hopefully the product sells well enough to expand through Aramark. They have contracts with more than 300 institutions," Croad says.
"We’re hoping to gain credibility and grow."
Ignite Donuts also won an office in downtown Mt. Pleasant from CMU's New Venture Competition.
Moving from the city streets to a campus market isn’t the only change Croad has made. Recognizing the health conscious decisions that college students are making these days, Croad has ditched the full-size donut for the Donut Kit: Six donut holes, either original or chocolate, and a two-ounce cup of warm glaze, either chocolate, vanilla, or maple.
The Donut Kits allow customers to purchase the product without having to eat a whole donut in one sitting. They can have a couple of donut holes and save some for later, or share them with their friends.
"The Donut Kit is a more convenient, higher quality, and sustainable option," Croad says.
"It’s just what our customers are looking for."