Shipley Do-Nuts, makers of gourmet, made-fresh-daily do-nuts for more than 85 years, will enter the Orlando, Florida, market in 2022 after signing a new franchise agreement with MLD Hospitality LLC.
MLD Hospitality, led by restaurant industry veteran and former Orlando resident Michael Burns, will initially open five locations in Orange County, beginning with one at 5919 S. Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando in Q4. It will be the fourth Shipley in the Sunshine State, with other locations currently open in Bradenton, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Burns says he believes MLD and the Orlando market could sustain up to 50 Shipley locations in the future.
Burns first learned about the brand when he moved to the Houston area from Orlando four years ago. His wife wanted to surprise his team at work with do-nuts, and when she asked the family’s new neighbors where she should go for the best do-nuts in town, the answer was unanimous — Shipley.
“Of course, she also got some do-nuts for the kids, and they absolutely loved them — our family still talks about the day we discovered Shipley,” says Burns, who serves as vice president of operations for MLD Hospitality and is relocating back to Orlando this summer. “The do-nuts are so fresh — like your mom just made them and served them to you still warm. Nothing on the market compares, and we think the people of Orlando, plus the many visitors to the area, will embrace Shipley Do-Nuts just as we did.”
Fast-growing Shipley, which first started selling hot, fresh do-nuts in Houston in 1936, has focused on Florida as a growth market. In addition to the planned Orlando locations, the company currently has a multi-unit development deal to open three Shipley Do-Nuts in the Tampa Bay area. In total, Shipley has agreements in place to open more than 350 new locations in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado and Texas over the next five years.
“Florida has been an area of focus for us, and we really got the ball rolling with this latest signing in Orlando,” says Shipley Do-Nuts CEO Clifton Rutledge. “Shipley is gaining recognition among potential franchisees who are seeing highly qualified, multi-unit operators investing in our brand, and then when they try the product for themselves, they are hooked. It’s simply the World’s Greatest Do-Nut.”