Ever since that first brave soul cut a hole in a slab of dough, shaped that slab into a circle, tossed it in hot oil, pulled it out, sprinkled some sugar on it, and took a bite, human beings have been gaga for donuts.
In recent years, donut-mania has ramped up to a whole new level, with boutique shops popping up in cities across the country. Philadelphia hasn’t been immune to this craze—the city loves donuts. And everyone in Philadelphia can now celebrate because there’s a new donut option in town. It’s called Factory Donuts and the founder’s a Fox School alumnus.
Factory Donuts opened its doors, in the Mayfair neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia, in August. Founded by Heather and David Restituto, BBA ’96, it offers about two dozen colorful and creative options, including the maple bacon explosion, blueberry bake, pumpkin pie, and David’s favorite, mint chocolate chip. The shop boasts high ceilings, exposed brick, and a trendy, industrial vibe.
“We put our own spin on the design and concept of the store to differentiate ourselves,” says David, a self-described “sweet tooth.” “We tried to make the outside and inside appear like a factory, with red brick, the layout of the machines, the lights hanging from the ceiling. And we want people to be able to see their product made right in front of them—from batter to a finished donut—in just a few minutes.”
Factory Donuts is David’s first time as a business owner, but he’s no stranger to operating a business. He has run Rita’s Italian Ice franchises, as well as several Philadelphia area Meineke franchises with his father, who initially encouraged him to major in finance at the Fox School.
“My father guided me toward finance and taught me it’s what separates a business from doing well or not well,” explains David. “Not understanding the numbers makes a huge difference. Growing up in the business, with my father teaching me about cost of goods and labor percentages, and how to put financing around the business aspects, it taught me how to run a business. Most importantly, it taught me how to grow a business.”
Given David’s long history with franchises, it may come as no surprise that franchising will be the next step for his business. They’ve already received hundreds of unsolicited offers from people interested in opening their own Factory Donuts location. The next move will be opening a corporate headquarters to handle the franchisor transition.
“We have so much positive interest from people,” says David. “We’re ready to launch the franchise end of the business and we’re planning for future growth. It’s a very exciting time.”