This week, Jack’s Donuts of Fort Wayne will celebrate their one-year anniversary of opening to the public. This store took more than two years to open with several obstacles along the way. When Fort Wayne finally opened, the Wilkinson family and I were ecstatic to bring this store to life.
Two weeks before Fort Wayne opened, the national media was discussing a newly discovered and potentially deadly virus, COVID-19, that was quickly sweeping across the country. At the time, and after all the initial setbacks, a worldwide pandemic was just the next challenge this store would face. We, like everyone else, had no idea that our entire world was about to change drastically.
The City of Fort Wayne embraced Jack’s Donuts from day one. However, a decision had to be made within weeks of Fort Wayne opening about the most responsible and reasonable way to serve customers. Suddenly, COVID-19 became a serious issue for the health and safety of our staff and guests.
I sat down with Matthew and Jaimee Wilkinson, our Fort Wayne franchisees, on Friday, March 22nd, 2020, to have a gut-wrenching conversation. With COVID-19 cases surging as well as the CDC advising residents to stay home for two weeks to curb the spread, Matthew and Jaimee felt it was best to temporarily close their store until cases decreased in the Fort Wayne area.
Fort Wayne re-opened their doors a few weeks later. While sales did not primarily surge, it was clear that the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County were glad to have Jack’s Donuts back in business.
Over the past year, Jack’s of Fort Wayne has cemented themselves as a staple of their community. By implementing non-traditional forms of advertising and sticking to a grass-roots approach to get their products in consumers hands, dropping off donuts to dozens of businesses in Fort Wayne, it was clear that even a worldwide pandemic was not going to stop Matthew and Jaimee from making Jack’s Donuts a success.
Thank you Wilkinson Family! Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!
Lee Marcum, CEO- Jack’s Donuts