‘Our doughnuts are very photogenic’ - Lockdown takeaway van puts success down to social media
- Credit: Merroney Reynolds
An enterprising couple who began a drive-through doughnut business at the height of lockdown say their surprising success belongs to the “power of social media”.
Merroney Reynolds, 40, and her husband Adam Bond, 45, stationed a ‘Drive Through Donuts’ van outside their home in Caister when all other restaurants remained closed.
Ms Reynolds said: “In May, all of our bookings were being cancelled up to Christmas. We thought, if we don’t do something now, how will we ever recover?
“I don’t want to say it was desperation that drove us to this, but I think maybe a bit of restlessness. We couldn’t sit around and wait any longer.”
The couple, who were already running a doughnut stall at Bury St Edmunds Market, had the van up and running in June after buying it “for a bargain” the month before.
Mr Bond, a handy man, deftly fitted it out with all the necessary equipment himself, meaning the venture set them back “way less than expected”.
But Ms Reynolds says the van is tucked away in the old Reynolds Coaches’ yard in Caister, which was run by the family before its permanent closure after her uncle’s death.
She said: “The yard really isn’t in a prominent location. It’s not like you get a lot of cars driving past who would just happen to notice our stall.“What actually got people showing up - and sometimes the numbers could reach 100 or more on a Sunday - was the power of social media.
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“It turns out our doughnuts are extremely photogenic.”
Ms Reynolds set up a Facebook page which her friends shared on their platforms. Then she made a website, and began posting more regularly.
She said: “The follower numbers just ballooned. Now we’ve got more than 2,000.
“People were posting pictures of our doughnuts on their Instagram and Facebook profiles, and the queues just kept getting longer every day we were open.
“We thought the van would help tide us over until normal business picked up at the market, but now we’re going to keep at it.”
In the near future, the couple has their eyes on Yarmouth Market as the next site of potential expansion.