'This little doughnut shop just wants to survive'

Originally Posted Online: Dec. 03, 2012, 7:29 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 04, 2012, 12:25 am
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By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com

MOLINE -- It was a ''hole'' lot happier at Donuts & More stores Monday.

After about a month-long hiatus, the Moline and Davenport stores were reopened. And it was tough to see who was happier about it -- the customers or employees.

"Everybody was smiling,'' worker Marshal Dray said.

The doughnut shops were closed suddenly in early November, and it took owner Andria McDermott about three weeks and nearly $40,000 to reopen them, she said Monday.

Ms. McDermott said she had tried to sell the business through a brokerage firm to a DeWitt man, but he reportedly failed to finish paying for it, and closed and locked the doors Nov. 5, without paying any bills or the employees.

Employee Melinda Palos, who works the front cashier at the Moline store, 2430 16th St., Moline, said she didn't get paid from Oct. 15 to Nov. 5, but was overjoyed about returning to work.

''It feels great seeing all my regulars,'' Ms. Palos said, greeting customers by name.

''It's the customers who brought me back,'' Mr. Dray said. ''I love it here.''

His mother, Sara Dray, also was rehired, Ms. McDermott said.

''It's no fun being out of work,'' baker Henry Davis said.''I did some job hunting while the store was closed, but I knew that Andria wanted to reopen it.''

Ms. McDermott called the reopening a ''relief.''

She said it was terrible hearing how it was closed down, leaving ''25 people unemployed right before Christmas. I can't tell you how happy I am that they're back to work in time for Christmas.''

Legal action is pending, but getting the doughnut shops reopened took priority, Ms. McDermott said.

"This little doughnut shop just wants to survive,'' Davenport store employee John Howard said. ''It's taken a lot of knocks over the past three years, but it wants to survive.''

''It felt like a rip-off when it closed in November,'' customer Mike Campbell of Moline said. ''It sure is nice to see some of the same people working here. I'm glad they hired them back."

He said he also was glad to get a lemon doughnut and regular coffee.

Stephanie Goodnight, another Moline customer, was thrilled to get a couple of chocolate sprinkled doughnuts Monday morning.

She said the last time she had been in the store was the day before it closed. ''I was one of those customers who came back a day later and said, 'Oh no, they're closed. Where'd they go.' ''

It took Ms. McDermott some time and money to ''get everything up and running again,'' she said.

Everything had been disconnected, and it cost $3,000 to get electricity turned back on, and $2,000 to get the water on, she said. About $5,000 worth of inventory was lost after the electricity was shut off, she said.

And don't try calling the stores yet, because phone service has not yet been established, Ms. McDermott said, adding that their supplier also needed $11,000 before agreeing to continue supplying the stores.

Michele Hudson has been hired as general manager to handle human resources and get shop finances back in order. Ms. McDermott said she couldn't have handled the reorganization, and balancing two jobs and three kids without the help of Ms. Hudson and previous owners, Tom and Jan Amyette.

The Amyettes owned the business for 27 years, Ms. McDermott said. ''I felt so guilty when I went to their house to tell them what had happened. I felt so miserable, but John said 'I'm not glad it happened, but sometimes we need to go through trials to make ourselves better.''

Ms. Amyette also reported for duty Monday, and helped out in the Davenport store, at 1717 N. Brady St., Ms. McDermott said.

Ms. Palos arrived for work at the Moline shop at 4:30 a.m. Monday. She said her mother, the late Lynn Palos, worked there from 1986 to 1994.

She also was quick to point out the store's new cappuccino machine that features new pumpkin spice and French vanilla flavors, in addition to regular coffee and hot chocolate offerings.

John and Angela Howard, bakers at the Davenport store, said they met at the doughnut shop, and got married about a year ago, ''so we have a lot of sweet memories about working there,'' Mr. Howard said.

He's worked there for 18 years, while his wife is a 12-year employee. ''A big part of our lives have been spent there, so we were excited about going back to work.''


Local events heading

  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital.
1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.

(More History)