Putting passion into practice, District Doughnut opens their third location in The Wharf

Doughnuts in the District are serving the military community in more than one way.

Lauren Warner
August 25, 2018 - 7:52 pm
Specialty doughnuts bruleed upon order for customers.

Lauren Warner

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Formed in 2012 as a doughnut catering business, incubated in Union Kitchen for 16 months, then open as a brick and mortar shop in 2014, District Doughnut has come a long way in just six years. Juan and Greg, childhood friends, created District Doughnut shortly after Greg completed a fellows program post-college with Falls Church Anglican that inspired him to start a business that evokes warmth and happiness through products & service. Their third partner, Christine Schaefer, is a Buffalo pastry chef who previously ran a gourmet bakery. (The dough used in their doughnuts is a recipe that Christine herself created from scratch, along with everything else that makes up their doughnuts.)

Photo courtesy of Lauren Warner

Their first store opened in an old Marine barbershop on 8th & I S.E. across from the Marine Barracks and that’s just one of many connections to the military this business holds. They also tend to have at least one veteran on staff at almost any given time. Due to the location of this store, the hires are typically Marines.

“Partnering with the Marines just came naturally and, once you hire a Marine and see how hard they work, you just want to hire all of them,” says Taylor Mack. Now the Director of Retail Operations, Taylor first interned with District Doughnut through the Falls Church Fellows as well.

Within two years of the Barracks Row storefront, District Doughnut opened its second location in Cady’s Alley in Georgetown, in addition to a full-service kiosk within Nationals Park. The continuing growth and demand for handmade original doughnuts led them here to the opening of their third brick and mortar location in The Wharf, one of the newest up-and-coming areas of the District. With an offering of 6 regular flavors for sale daily as well as rotating seasonal flavors, they also stay busy providing doughnuts for several shops in the area including Crimson Diner, Tryst, Bluestone Lane and Open City Café as well as handling online orders.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Warner

In addition to being created in the District, for the District, District Doughnut also honors the selfless service of all uniforms, military and badges alike; all of the above have a standing 10% discount at all District Doughnut locations.

“Greg [Menna] has a passion for the military and great respect for those who serve. That respect has been ingrained in the business from the top down,” comments Taylor. “We’ve been able to put that passion into practice in all of the stores.”

Their respect for the service of others and recognition of that service, as well as partnerships with veteran-owned and run businesses like Compass Coffee, helps them stand out in the community. District Doughnut embraces the motto “Semper Fry” and has several service-connected tee shirts, such as a ‘Doughnuts & Freedom” shirt that is released around 4th of July and a Semper Fry shirt that originated with the opening of their first location. Additionally, District Doughnut observes Armed Forces Day (May 20th) by donating 10% of their proceeds to the Semper Fi Fund. Their locations, unintentionally, are each only a short walk from the military installations inside the District, and a quick drive (or jog!) from those in the across the Potomac. Putting passion into practice and serving those who serve the community seem to come naturally to District Doughnut and its founders.

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