Laid-off Denver restaurant duo launches ‘Pandemic Donuts’

Food & Drink
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DENVER (KDVR) – A pair of out-of-work Denver restaurant employees may have come up with the perfect business, at the perfect time, with the perfect name.

Days after they were laid off in mid-March, Gabrielle Henning and Michael Milton launched Pandemic Donuts from their Denver kitchen.

“St. Patrick’s Day was our last day at work — got a call the next day that we were out of work,” Milton told FOX31.

“Definitely panicked, wondering how we were going to pay rent,” said Henning.

Henning is a classically trained culinary chef, with years of pastry experience and a passion for donuts. Milton has spent years roasting and selling coffee. They put their experience to work, starting Pandemic Donuts just days after losing their jobs.

“Pandemic? It’s just a marker of the times. (The name is) just kind of straight to the point. We’re in a pandemic, and that’s when we started it,” Milton said. He borrowed the name from a friend who recently opened a restaurant in San Diego called Pandemic Pizza.

Their photogenic donuts were an instant hit on Instagram, and their direct messages were clogged with orders for their tasty creations. Within days, they launched a website with their flavors of the week.

“Last week, we sold out in four minutes,” Milton said.

Production has gone into overdrive. But because of their cramped kitchen, their supply is limited.

“It’s like it’s happening to us almost, so we’re just like doing our best to meet the demand,” said Milton.

“I think that people just like our story and they want to follow along, and it’s something positive right now,” Henning said.

The donuts are available for curbside pickup or home delivery to certain Denver ZIP codes. To learn more about the company, visit its website.

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