Hurts Donut Co. LLC was originally planned as a local doughnut company, but in only five years it’s grown from one location to three company stores and 13 franchise shops.
Within two weeks of opening downtown, at 320 Park Central West, Hurts was completely debt-free. Founder and CEO Tim Clegg says they were ready after three months to see how far Hurts could go.
“We wanted another store; we wanted to see if we could replicate the success,” he says. “We thought that our success was collegiate driven, so we started looking at college towns.”
Now, Hurts has locations in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Arkansas. However, now they’ve widened their aim from just college towns to cater to families as well. Hurts doesn’t have any intention of slowing down.
“We will be at 22 stores by the end of this year and then into the 30s by the end of next year,” Clegg says.
Through this rapid growth, Hurts in 2017 provided jobs for 402 people, 54 of those local. From inception to the end of fiscal 2016, Hurts paid out over $3 million in taxable wages. Employees range from full-time jobs in the corporate office to part-time student employees working in the doughnut shops.
“We’ve been really fortunate to have some really great, long-term talent on our staff, especially in the downtown location,” Clegg says.
Clegg says at the downtown location they’ve had several employees with them for over a year, which is significant in the high-turnover food industry.
Hurts also takes a big part in giving back to the communities where it operates. In 2017, through a partnership with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the company raised over $40,000 for the Run HDC 5K series, $85,000 in water bottle donations, $17,000 for Walk MS and $56,000 for Bike MS.
Companywide, Hurts donates to the MS Society, because of Clegg’s personal diagnosis with MS, which has made the organization “near and dear to my heart,” he says.
Other charities Hurts contributed to in 2017 include Kids of our Heroes Adventure Camp, Relay for Life, Ozarks Food Harvest and The Humane Society. All the franchisees participate in giving back to their respective communities.
“I try to pass this on to all new Hurts Donut Co. franchise owners, also, that we wouldn’t be where we are without the community,” Clegg says. “If we’re going to select charities or things like that, it is our social and corporate responsibility to select ones that are close to the communities that we serve.”
Clegg says he wishes Hurts could contribute to every charity that asks, but with the popularity of the brand, they often ask customers in the community what charities are important to them.
“They’re the community and they’re the people who are responsible for our success,” he says. “Without customers, there’s no business and there’s no jobs.”
Going up at Missouri State University’s 125-acre William H. Darr Agricultural Center on Kansas Expressway is the Small Animal Education Center.