GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Ordering takeout or delivery for breakfast, lunch or dinner is a good way to support the local restaurants scene while they can't have diners in-house.
But don't forget about those sweet donuts. Sprinkles Donuts has four locations in the Grand Rapids area and is open for business.
Owner Gary VanderSteldt wasn't sure that business was going to be possible when he heard the governor deliver the guidelines for businesses during the pandemic.
"The first thing I thought of was how long can we survive with the amount of cash we have on hand," VanderSteldt said. "It was really scary for the first week, because we didn't know what to expect."
VanderSteldt has found his footing and was able to keep his employees, but his shops are producing much fewer donuts than normal.
"On a super busy day, we'd make about 10,000 donuts," he said. "Last night, we made about 3,000."
Fortunately, he still has customers coming in for takeout or curbside pickup orders. But VanderSteldt isn't relying on those orders.
He's taking the donuts to doorsteps in neighborhoods all across the area. He utilized his background in software development to implement a system that allows him and his staff to efficiently take orders right to the porches of homes in places like Byron Center, Muskegon and the neighborhoods that host one of his four locations.
"It's been a big hit," VanderSteldt said. "Sometimes customers will post a card on their door, a thank you or the kids will draw chalk on their front steps to say thank you. It's been a real treat."
Sprinkles Donuts normally delivers their treats to hospitals, food pantries and other charities. But with the pandemic, that has dramatically increased.
"We did one today and yesterday at Spectrum Health and Blodgett," he said. "They usually bring out a cart, because it's about 42 boxes, and then they distribute it to care workers."
Nothing is left to waste. If there are any leftover donuts from the day, they are donated to senior centers, veterans homes or local food pantries.
Do you run or work for a local business that is staying open and is in need of customers? Tell us about it. You can fill out a simple online form, so your business can be considered for a future “We’re Open West Michigan” story.
Don't forget, you can support local restaurants by getting takeout or delivery every Tuesday until West Michigan businesses are back up to full speed. Share photos of your food on social media using the hashtag: #TakeoutTuesday.