Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly Buffham.
Molly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started making mini donuts on Venice Beach, CA at The Hot Spot when I was 19 years old.
Ten years later, after living in South Korea with my husband who is a Blackhawk Pilot in the US Army, we had orders to go back to the US and I needed something to go back with. I was like, “Well, I know how to make mini donuts. I guess I could give that a shot?” Immediately I started shaping our business plan and our logo. I wanted a concept that would give our clients and customers a feeling of nostalgia. An experience that would bring out the kid in them.
So in May of 2009, I opened Donut Junkie in Tacoma, WA. Our donuts became a staple at many farmer’s markets and festivals but I really wanted to take such a fun and delicious dessert to another level. I wanted to make mini donuts classy and that would require planned, detailed, and well-thought out private parties.
It wasn’t until we and moved Donut Junkie to Southern California in 2014 that this idea really caught on. Weddings had the extra budget to add our unique twist. Many couldn’t quite grasp the concept. I had to specifically say, “Yes, we actually bring a little donut machine to you and make the donuts in front of your eyes.” It’s a blessing we’re still operating in Orange County, CA under the Management of Valerie Niggl.
Just as things were starting to cook’ in Cali, the military gave us a move to the Houston area. So while we kept operating out West, it took me nearly two years to finally decide to amp it up here in the South. I’ll be honest, I didn’t do any market research as far as the wedding industry goes here which is very unlike me but I was at a point in my current job and motherhood that I needed to take charge again and see if Texas would like our idea as much as California did.
Jump to June 2018 when I officially introduced Greater Houston to the world of mini-donut catering. I began sending out hand-written postcards to every venue, wedding planner and coordinator I could find on the internet. I emailed them, messaged them on Facebook and stalked them on social media. I began attending every venue open house I could get into and the response was incredible. People had been used to donut walls, they were kinda the rave at this time, but to actually have the donuts made hot and fresh was a game-changer. We were bringing something to Brides and Grooms that they didn’t even know existed. If you don’t know it’s out there, nobody is going to Google search it so I had to bring it to the masses.
My next step was to find industry networking groups, which I had no idea was a “thing” until another vendor saw me at an open house and invited me to a luncheon with BENG (the Bridal and Event Networking Group) for Montgomery County. After lunch, everyone attending is asked to grab the microphone and give your “elevator pitch.” I just remember thinking, “I got nothing.” So I just decided my personality and the concept behind Donut Junkie would have to sell itself. And it did. I was bombarded after our speeches by fellow vendors, caterers, planners, DJs, florists, bakers, venue owners all wanting to know how THEY could help promote ME. Like, these people were eager to get the word out about my little donut business?! I was so flattered and blown away by the generosity that I immediately joined the group. I cannot say enough positive things about my experience in BENG. It has single-handedly become the best decision I could have ever made for the growth of Donut Junkie. The vendor camaraderie and support is nothing like I have ever known before. These people have become “my people.” They are my community and I would do anything for any one of them. And today, I stand proud on the BENG board of directors because it is absolutely my duty to uphold the great name this organization has created for itself and I want nothing more for these people’s businesses to prosper for years and years to come.
I remember when I started the private event catering that my goal was to have four events a month. Just four. Our biggest month was last January and we had nearly 30 events. I have an awesome team with personalities to boot. Currently, we have two machines/operations and our goal by the end of 2020 is to have at least three operations (maybe 4 four?), a commercial space, and three dedicated vehicles.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The biggest struggle has been the fact that we’ve moved the business over three states. We’re always having to pick up and start from scratch.
Donut Junkie – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Donut Junkie is a dessert catering company. We like to call it, “Dessert Entertainment.” A lot of people would call us an, “action station.” We specialize in weddings, corporate events and personal events like graduations, birthday parties, baby showers, retirement parties, bar/bat mitzvahs…or I always tell people, “any reason you would want to have donuts made on site, we’ll be there.”
We are known for our mouth-watering mini donuts always served hot and fresh.
What makes us stand out is our Sugar Station! We offer a huge variety of Specialty Sugars like: Oreo, strawberry, peanut butter, pumpkin spice, lemon, hot chocolate and more. We have hand-crafter Specialty Dips like: sweet cream cheese, lemon, strawberry, dulce de leche, maple, blueberry, and the list goes on. Our guests get to top off their donuts however they like so they get to take part in the action.
As a company I’m most proud of the people we have on board. Anyone can take our concept, anyone can take our ideas, but nobody can replace the people we have out in the field creating the experience for our clients like our crew can.
What sets us apart from others is that this is my full-time job. Nothing is ever, “half.” We have a very quick response time to inquiries, the communication is always thorough and friendly. This is donuts! Every single question from anyone of our clients is important and our clients feel that. From the first phone call to the last “thank you,” their satisfaction and comfort is my first priority.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For this business, success to me is when we are recommended to others by our clients. I think of it this way: when I recommend something to others, now I’ve just raised the stakes for myself, you know? This is on ME now. If the experience isn’t the same for them as it was for me, then I look like the jack hole! If this happens, now I gotta make up a bunch of excuses for the thing I recommended as to why it may have been different, it’s just too much. So I personally only recommend the best of the best. And when you’re the “best of the best,” you shouldn’t ever have to make someone come up with excuses for your work. Everyone deserves the same, incredible service time and again.
- Private parties START at $399.00 (50 guests and under)
- 1-Hour of unlimited mini-donuts with cinnamon/sugar & powdered sugar
- Includes 20 miles of travel from The Woodlands
- Personalized quotes will give your readers the best idea
- Address: The Woodlands, TX
- Website: http://www.donutjunkie.com
- Phone: 949-275-6073
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: donut_junkie
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonutJunkie/?ref=bookmarks
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/donut-junkie-houston-2?osq=donut+junkie