What started as a joke — "I just came from your mom's," a retort often passed between Courtney Buckley and her fiancé Benjamin Frye — has now become the name of a hot spot for families and doughnut lovers alike.
The owners of Your Mom's Donuts, which launched in October 2013, specialize in organic and homemade doughnuts. Before the storefront opened at 11025 Monroe Road in early July, each doughnut was made in a commercial kitchen and then hand-delivered to customers. Now, Buckley and Frye get to know their customers in a different atmosphere. Buckley (who's pregnant with twins), her giggly toddler Violet, and, of course, the aroma of warm, sugary doughnuts greet each person who walks through the door. We sat down with Buckley to talk about what this next phase means for their business — which, from the time the business launched to the Matthews store opening, sold more than 400 doughnuts with no advertising other than social media.
Creative Loafing: What does it mean to your customers to know that you use organic, North Carolina-grown and -raised ingredients?
Courtney Buckley: We hope they understand that we are supporting the community. We have some people who just like our doughnuts because they taste good, but the majority of people that seek us out are people that care about what they are eating. Like, I love junk food, but I want junk food without any junk in it. I don't want to eat something I can't pronounce. So, it was important to us to offer that to our customers. When we started this, we realized there was a hole in the market for farm-to-table pastries. In the culinary world, you can find a really good farm-to-table dinner, but you can't find a healthy pastry.
What sets your doughnuts apart?
For one, we want this to be a place for families. We want to know all of our customers on a personal level. That's something you don't really get at a chain doughnut shop. Also, everything is done by hand. We don't even have a mixer. [Ben] mixes every bowl of dough by hand. It's rolled out by hand. It's punched by hand. It's fried by hand. I also think the fact that we fry the doughnuts in leaf lard makes us really different. That's something nobody does because it's so old-fashioned. Our doughnuts have seven ingredients (flour, milk, butter, vanilla, fresh yeast, eggs and sugar) and each one of those ingredients you can find in your kitchen. There are no chemicals, no preservatives; nothing you can't pronounce so people can trust it. I also think the shape of the doughnuts help set us apart. It happened on accident because we ran out of cutters one day and the square ones were the only ones we could find.
What are you most excited about with this new storefront?
Definitely the convenience for our customers. Being able to offer a single doughnut and someone being able to stop by and come pick it up is something we've been asked for since day one. It's so nice to really be able to get to know our customers. For example, we've only been open for three days and I've had several people come in more than once — that's amazing. Eventually, I want to have this corner become the kids' corner. I'm going to get a bunch of pillows and stuff for them so Violet can have friends come and play with her. We want this to be a place where families can come and enjoy some homemade specialty doughnuts.