National Doughnut Day, an annual event taking place this year on June 7, might seem like another frivolous holiday for promoting pastries. However, the truth is that Doughnut Day was first introduced to the United States by the Salvation Army in 1938 as a way to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.
Building on its recent franchising announcement, Sublime Doughnuts, one of Food & Wine Magazine’s best doughnut shops in the country, has created VetForward, a program designed to provide financial assistance to veterans interested in becoming franchisees.
“I wanted to do more than bake a special doughnut,” explains Kamal Grant, Navy veteran and founder and executive chef of Sublime Doughnuts. “I wanted to really go back to the roots of why this event started and help veterans realize that business ownership is possible. With their discipline and acumen, veterans make ideal Sublime franchisees.”
A Veteran’s Dream
Grant enlisted in the Navy right after high school. He used the opportunity to pursue his dream to become a world-class baker and quickly gained the praise of his shipmates because of his delicious cinnamon rolls. The Navy not only gave Grant an opportunity to bake, but it also provided a wealth of international travel and a taste of flavors and textures from around the world. When his enlistment ended, Grant enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, where his love of doughnuts was born.
Fast forward to 2013, and Grant’s business is booming. As the owner of the award-winning Sublime Doughnuts, Grant’s experience and world-class gourmet doughnuts has translated to expansion through franchising.
Beginning on National Doughnut Day this year, Sublime Doughnuts introduces VetForward, a “pay it forward” program whereby founder and veteran Grant contributes the first $5,000 to the second vet who signs on as a franchisee. That vet forwards the $5,000 on to the next vet and so on, keeping the franchisee fee at $20,000 for all vets. Each year, the program runs from National Doughnut Day through Veterans Day.
“We believe strongly that veterans have a place in the Sublime family,” Grant continues. “A discount like this, along with a relatively low franchisee build-out, makes Sublime a very attractive career for veterans who often struggle to re-establish an economic base when they return from service.”