Keeper of the Plans

Donut Whole fundraiser netted nearly $24,000. Will donors get what they were promised?

The Donut Whole is known for the rooster sculpture on its roof. The doughnut shop is under new ownership, and its owners are trying to fulfill promises made as part of a "Project X" fundraiser.
The Donut Whole is known for the rooster sculpture on its roof. The doughnut shop is under new ownership, and its owners are trying to fulfill promises made as part of a "Project X" fundraiser. File photo

Will there or won’t there be a Club Ed?

Earlier this year, The Donut Whole’s former owner, Michael Carmody, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the struggling business — a venture dubbed Project X.

Now the doughnut shop has changed hands, and its new ownership says it is trying to fulfill the promises made as part of Project X — which range from free doughnuts to T-shirts, pins and membership in a loyalty program called Club Ed.

The new owner, Tariq Azmi, said he was unaware of those specific promises, the “nitty gritty” details, until after he bought the business.

“We figured since the community has put in an effort to save it and provide funds for it … we just want to try to see what we can work with,” Azmi said. “At this point, I’m looking at sourcing some of the things that were promised.”

The campaign raised $23,972 in total from hundreds of donors, who were able to donate $25 to $1,000 to the business.

Shortly after the fundraising campaign concluded, Carmody filed for bankruptcy protection and sold The Donut Whole. The bankruptcy filing shows Carmody owed $34,000 to the Kansas Department of Revenue at the time.

Azmi said the money raised from Project X was quickly garnished by the state.

Carmody would not comment when reached by phone.

Azmi said he’s received multiple calls about Project X, and some people have asked for refunds.

“My answer is just be patient,” he said. “We’ll work with you on trying to honor what (you) were committed.”

Since Azmi took over a few weeks ago, some things have changed at The Donut Whole — the store’s wide selection of bottled drinks (including an assortment of Jarritos beverages) is no more.

About six months ago, the shop stopped operating a 24-hour drive-through — though Azmi said he's considering bringing that back. The drive-through is currently open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

On Monday, the shop announced it would now be keeping its doughnuts in a display cabinet, as opposed to the open-air trays it had used before.

“We’re rolling with the punches,” Azmi said. “Not much has changed or will change — the exception being that we might repaint the rooms and all the carpet, but as far as the product, nothing has changed or will change.”

Donut Whole owner Michael Carmody is looking to sell the business near Douglas and Hydraulic. Carrie Rengers/The Wichita Eagle/Nov. 27, 2017



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