About Aunt Mary Ann’s Donuts
What We Are Doing Now
The past 10 years have been devoted to the expansion of our wholesale customer base, but all the while, continuing to perfect various models and educate ourselves in the franchising process. Our efforts were rewarded with the opening of our first franchise in North Canton, Ohio in 2011. We have continued to expand with the first Cafe Style format by partnering with another local entrepeneur. This effort allows us to further expand our product offerings to our customers. We are proud to announce that our 2nd franchise and first cafe opened in Canton South, Ohio in 2012. Aunt Mary Ann Donuts is not stopping there and has plans to open a 2nd cafe style restaurant in late 2012 in Kent, Ohio.
Peter A. and Mary Edna Welden opened the first Mary Ann Donuts store in 1947. The company was named after Peter and Mary Edna’s first child. What started at a single location on McKinley Avenue in Canton, Ohio has grown to include a 7,000 square foot Corporate Office and Production Facility and seven Mary Ann Donut stores operating throughout the Stark County community.
Mary Edna Welden passed away in 1979. At that time, the children of Peter and Mary Edna, Pat and Dorothy, took a more active role in the business. In 1983, Peter Welden retired from day-to-day activities, leaving the operation of the business to the children. It was at this time that Pat and Dorothy made the decision to begin expanding the company’s operations with the goal of bettering their father’s retirement.
In 1984, the second Mary Ann Donuts location opened at West Tuscarawas. Shortly after opening this location, the company decided that it would be much more effective to consolidate production at one location and distribute the donuts to the other locations. This would eliminate the need to have a baker at each individual location. In late 1984, the company combined the production facilities at the West Tuscarawas location.
In 1989, Peter A. Welden passed away, resulting in the second generation of the family business taking leadership of the company. It was at that time that Patrick and Dorothy assumed the roles of President and Vice-President, respectively, taking an active day-to-day role in the company.
In 1990, Pat and Dorothy were ready to continue the companyís expansion. Capitalizing on the efficiencies of a consolidated production facility, a third store was opened on Hills and Dales Road in Canton. This location opened with the biggest grand opening sales figures in the history of Mary Ann Donuts. In 1991, recognizing that there was available time in the production schedule, the company opened a fourth location at Portage Road in North Canton.
Between 1991 and 1995, Pat and Dorothy evaluated their options for additional expansion. During that time, the production facility was operating at near capacity, supplying products to the four company stores. Pat and Dorothy recognized that in order to continue expanding while maintaining the same efficiencies it would be necessary to purchase additional equipment capable of handling much higher volumes. They also realized that the current production facility was not capable of servicing additional stores and a new facility would have to be considered.
In 1994, Pat and Dorothy began intensifying their search for high-quality production equipment that would automate their production and provide the company with higher profit margins and much more control over each individual product. They also began evaluating construction of a larger production facility. In 1995, the decision was made to build a production facility which would also house the growing corporate offices. Construction of Mary Ann Donuts’ Corporate Home Office and Production Facility began in 1995.
Beginning in 1995, in addition to their day-to-day activities, Pat and Dorothy were heavily involved in the process of securing SBA financing, coordinating the construction process and finding the equipment they knew would be a critical component in future expansion. At the same time, they began searching for a location for the next company store.
In 1996, with the new production facility near completion, the company opened its fifth location on Route 62 in Plain Township. In 1997, after two years of intense effort, Mary Ann Donuts’ Corporate Home Office and Production Facility opened. The production facility was immediately put to the test as it began manufacturing donuts not only for the five existing locations, but a sixth location which opened on North Main Street in North Canton that same year. The companyís newest location opened on West State Street in Alliance in 1999. The new production facility had proven itself. The company had opened three additional locations with only a minimal increase in its production staff.
In late 1999, Pat and Dorothy began investigating additional methods of expansion to meet the opportunities they knew were available in markets throughout the country. Responding to inquiries and requests that began more then 10 years ago, the company also considered the option of expanding by offering entrepreneurial individuals the opportunity to operate their own Mary Ann Donuts franchised stores.
In May 2010, the company hired FranSource, Inc. to provide franchise development services to the company.