Riesbeck’s Food Markets, St. Clairsville, Ohio, teamed with The Salvation Army (SA) for a National Donut Day campaign that extended well beyond the June 3 observance. Riesbeck’s sold commemorative boxes of donuts bearing the nonprofit’s logo each Friday in June, with 10 percent of the proceeds from every box benefitting the SA.
Riesbeck’s locations in five Ohio counties and three in West Virginia participated. All told, the company sold 4,682 dozen donuts, raising $1,872 for the SA.
Riesbeck’s bakery director John Chickery says the chain decided to partner with the SA for the first time this year given the success of Riesbeck’s first National Donut Day campaign last year, when it sold 975 promotional boxes in two days.
“I felt sure we would get more mileage out of the promotion by doing it four consecutive Fridays, rather than just one week, to give people the chance to plan ahead and buy some donuts,” Chickery says. “I think spacing it out worked out to our advantage–to everyone’s advantage in the end because it was a really good cause.”
National Donut Day, which is held on the first Friday in June, was created by the SA in 1938 as a fundraiser paying homage to female SA volunteers, called “Lassies,” who served homemade donuts to soldiers during World War I to boost morale. “The story needs to be told more often,” Chickery says. “Not enough people know that’s how National Donut Day started.”
Large banners in participating stores provided a brief history of National Donut Day and its affiliation with SA. The donuts were offered for $1 off their everyday price. Shoppers had a choice of plain, sugar, confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon sugar cake donuts, or a variety pack containing all four–which was the most popular. Donuts also were available for pre-order.
“This year, we sold more donuts on the first day than we did over both days last year–1,500 dozen,” Chickery says. “We already have a meeting scheduled with local Salvation Army chapters to discuss next year.”