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Tim Clegg
Tawnie Wilson | SBJ
Tim Clegg

2023 Economic Impact Awards 1-10 Years in Business Top Honors: Hurts Donut Co.

Donut Diversification

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Hurts Donut Co. founder and CEO Tim Clegg says it wasn’t until halfway through 2022 that the business moved past the financial impact caused by the pandemic. He says since March 2020, Hurts Donut had not been able to effectively connect with franchisee prospects, but he feels like the company has put those days behind them.

“Everybody was very cautious with taking risk, and obviously franchises are a risk,” says Clegg. “I think that the climate has put people’s mind more at ease.”

Now, the Springfield-based doughnut shop has a boom of prospects looking to open locations in the coming months.

“We have a full plate of prospect stores getting ready to open,” says Clegg.

This year, Hurts Donut plans to open four locations in Plantation, Florida; Cincinnati, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; and Hot Springs, Arkansas. When these locations are finalized, Hurts Donut will span 13 states totaling 24 locations nationwide.

And next year is also poised for growth.

“We’re looking forward to 2024 as an extremely good growth year for us,” says Clegg.

The importance of the experience at Hurts Donut cannot be overlooked, says Clegg, as its franchisee partners always start off as customers.

“One hundred percent of our franchisees or applicants have come to us through experience,” says Clegg.

Recently Clegg completed his doctorate in organizational change and leadership through the University of Sothern California. Clegg says his studies have helped him to navigate the constant changes in business.

Tackling the problem of attrition within franchises was a motivation for Clegg to continue his studies, he says, noting there is about a 20% attrition rate within the first five years of a franchise.

“What can we do as franchisors to make sure that they fit into the culture and that we are constantly preparing them for not only the successful side of things but the challenges they’ll have as well?” says Clegg.

The final line of Hurts Donut’s mission statement reads: “serve our communities around the world with an irrational generosity.” Clegg says most people don’t expect a doughnut shop to make an impact on the community, but Hurts has continued to try and change those expectations.

In the last two years, Hurts Donut has strengthened its partnership with international relief organization Convoy of Hope. Clegg says the company donates 50 cents from every water bottle sold in stores, which has resulted in $60,000 in annual donations to the nonprofit.

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