A few months ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across an inspiring video. A woman had been caught on camera stealing money out of a tip jar from a doughnut shop called Holey Schmidt Donuts. Normally, store owners would be angry, but not the owner of this shop! Instead, he did the kindest thing, so kind that my jaw dropped. Instead of pressing charges, the owner invited her back and collected food for her, thinking she really needed the money. If that isn’t the definition of “Do unto others,” I don’t know what is! I decided to reach out to the store owner for an interview to get to know more about that day as well as his doughnut shop!
Although the woman never came back, the story doesn’t end there, please read our interview to learn more.
Note: Some time has passed since the article was written and now. So the timing (such as how long they’ve been in business) is a little off. I apologize for this.
1. How long has Holey Schmidt Donuts been in business?
We opened our doors on February 17, 2018, so we are going on our 5th month in business.
2. What made you decide to open up a doughnut shop? Have you had experience in the business field before owning this business before?
My wife and I owned a different business and we traveled around a lot and we would always find a cool local donut shop to visit. We were inspired to open a donut shop with unique flavors and a fun modern atmosphere because Reno did not have anything like that at the time. We didn’t have any donut experience, however, my wife ran a wedding cake business for a few years so she had a knowledge of baking and decorating.
3. What sets you apart from the other Doughnut Shops in your area?
Our donuts are not what you would see in your traditional donut shop. We believe that the sky is the limit when creating flavors. So we have everything from potato chip donuts to your favorite breakfast cereals. In addition to our unique flavors, we have created a space where you don’t just want to grab and go. We have lots of seating and entire kids wall with a chalkboard, magnet wall, and lego station. We wanted a place where moms could come and let their kids be free to be kids, and where you wanted to come and gather with the family.
4. When you first saw the video of the woman stealing money from the tip jar, was your inial feeling anger? What led you to want to help her?
Initially, our feeling was a lot of shock and a bit of anger. We hadn’t even really considered that we would experience this so it was just surprising. What led us to try to help this individual is that, from the inception of this business, my wife and I have wanted to operate a business that spreads love in the community. My wife felt like there was something better that could be done than calling the police and that is when she thought of a food drive.
5. It’s beautiful that you collected food for her and sad that she never showed up to collect it, but at least it went to a food bank! Did you ever see her again?
During the food drive, we received a few phone calls claiming to know of her and we asked those people to let her know that she should come back in but unfortunately, she never showed. We have not seen her again.
6. Have you been in touch with the food bank you gave the food to after she didn’t show up?
No, we just dropped the food off with them. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is a very reputable and long-standing charity for many communities. They help countless people, young and old, to have access to food. We are very grateful knowing that they got that food to those in need.
7. How has business been since word got out about your big hearts and generosity?
Business has been very good. We have received, messages, phone calls, emails, and people coming in to thank us. We never thought that this would be a story. We just wanted to do something nice. It is still surreal that the story went as far is it has.
8. Finally, what would you like for people to know most about you, your employees, and your shop, Holey Schmidt Donuts?
My greatest hope in this is really twofold. I hope that this story will inspire others to choose kindness more often. I truly believe that if a small portion of people choose kindness the world will be so much happier. Second I hope that this can spread awareness of the condition some people are living in. We just want to spread love to all.
This was a beautiful article. Thank you for taking the time for doing this interview. It was a pleasure getting to know you and more about your wonderful business. Once again, please click here and if you’re ever in the Reno, Nevada area, please check it out. I’m sure you won’t regret it!