Chesapeake Donut Company has quickly become a chain, opening a Main St. shop in Warsaw only seven months after launching the brand in White Stone.
“We bit off more than we would have chewed, but we’re happy we did it,” said co-founder Gabe del Rio of the decision to open the second location.
“Warsaw was so welcoming. The town staff wooed us and tossed resources our way to help make it happen,” he said.
“The community has been really great. We’ve gotten good feedback on the food, and we’ve found that people have been excited to have our donut shop in town,” he added.
Plus, in addition to falling in love with the location, the Warsaw shop is in line with Chesapeake Donut Company’s aim to grow into “a regional brand around the Chesapeake Bay.”
But the goal isn’t just growth. It’s to bring something different to communities.
Del Rio has a community development background and explained that the vision with Chesapeake Donut Company was to bring a unique offering to the Northern Neck’s food scene. “Doing so adds diversity and helps the community develop,” he said.
A key feature is that its donuts are organic, and the company uses cage-free eggs and clean ingredients in its recipes. You won’t find pesticides, preservatives, foaming agents or “anything that your grandmother wouldn’t use.”
Del Rio said the company tries to locally source as many whole ingredients as possible, and Chesapeake Donut Company pays workers living wages above what’s usual for fast food and restaurants.
“We want people to have a stable job that is their main job and that allows them to have a decent life,” said del Rio.
The Warsaw shop has created seven jobs so far. More lunch items are being added, and that may lead the company to extend its operating hours, creating more earning opportunities.
And there’s one more thing to look forward to, said del Rio. And that’s ice cream, which is set to be on the menu by spring.