Megan Scaddan was only 21 when she began making doughnuts and selling them to friends. Just five years later, she’s the co-owner of the nation’s fastest growing dessert brands.
By Aedan Slater @aedanjslater | Image courtesy of Doughnotts
In 2015, at the tender ages of 21 and 22, Wade Smith and Megan Scaddan took their first step into the world of business when they sold 12 homemade doughnuts to a friend from Facebook for a tenner. Today, they’re making a turnover of £1.5 million, and gearing up to open a fourth branch of Doughnotts in Lincoln next month. The question is, how on earth did they get here in only four years, and where will the brand go next?
Starting out in Megan’s mum’s kitchen, the couple soon found themselves spending almost all their free time baking doughnuts and delivering them around Nottingham. Before long, they managed to get their first booking at the Nottingham Food and Drink Festival, and used all the money they had earned prior in a make-or-break gamble. Unsurprisingly, it paid off, and they more than doubled their investment at the event. The business only continued to grow from there. I myself first encountered them when they were but a humble “Nottingham Doughnut Company” stall in the Old Market Square, and admittedly have been hooked ever since.
Co-owner Megan believes that their success stems from finding a niche in the market. “We are huge on customer service, but also on providing a good product”, she explains. She believes that their doughnuts stand out above the rest due to their commitment to “amazing flavours”, a keen understanding of the latest trends, and their willingness to allow their staff to “be creative”. Expressing the brand’s openness to trying anything, Scaddan adds: “sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s the beauty of business – you learn along the way”.
Megan sees the opening of their first shop as the main milestone so far, explaining “I think that was the turning point for us to realise how successful this business could be”. At that time it was certainly hard to deny the brand’s popularity, with regular out-the-door queues, and fast-growing adoration on their social media pages which did nothing but contribute to the store’s success. After rebranding as the catchy “Doughnotts”, the business opened its second store location in Derby in 2017. A mere 7 months later, a third store opened in Leicester – undeniable proof that the business showed no signs of slowing down any time soon.“We are coming up on our 5th year of business, and are about to open our 4th store,” Megan adds, “so I’d say that’s a huge milestone too”. Just three weeks ago, Megan and Wade were shortlisted in Nottingham’s 30 Under 30 Awards for 2019, as recognition for their incredible success in building such an acclaimed business in only four years.
The business continues to uphold its popularity through a variety of avenues, whether its by expanding their ever-growing range of doughnuts, finding increasingly creative flavours, or branching out into the sale of other baked goods, vegan friendly products and coffee in partnership with Nottingham’s own 200 Degrees Coffee. Megan describes her partner Wade as “the ideas man”, because “every day he has something new he wants to try”. “We were very young when we started the business,” she explains, “and I think we keep it young – we take inspiration with what’s going on around us and we give it a go”. In more recent times, the Nottingham store relocated to a new premises on King Street, and partnered up with Ruffles Dog Bakery to sell their “Doggy Doughnuts”, so your canine companion isn’t left out should you ever bring them along to the shop. The brand continues to adapt and refresh itself in a variety of interesting and exciting ways, which undoubtedly has played a big part in it’s success.
As for the future, the business is getting ready to open it’s newest branch in Lincoln’s Cornhill by the end of next month. Discussing their future plans, Megan opines “anything is possible – we have a long way to go, but can see us becoming a national brand. We want to be in every major city, and we are already planning our next location after Lincoln”. If their rapid rise to success is anything to go by, it definitely seems as if Doughnotts is on a crash course to national dessert domination.