CMU students launch mobile food cart business downtown: Hot, fresh, and customizable donut holes

Late night patrons of downtown Mt. Pleasant’s bar scene have a new place to stop and eat before walking home.

Ignite Donuts celebrated its grand opening last week on Thursday, Sept. 13. The mobile food cart will serve hot and customizable donut holes from its perch near the intersection of Michigan and Main streets every Thursday night from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Central Michigan University seniors Casey Croad, Alec Czarnopys, and Jakob Muntz first got the idea for Ignite Donuts during the summer of 2017. The business idea began as a donut delivery service but has since become a mobile food cart following consultation with CMU faculty and local business professionals.

Croad, who is responsible for developing the products themselves, taught himself how to make the donut holes. Market research and taste tests led to the final recipe, which incorporates both French and southeastern Asian baking techniques. The result is a donut hole with a soft and fluffy interior and crispy exterior.

The donut holes are served hot and customers are able to customize them with hot dips and toppings. Flavors include chocolate, cinnamon sugar, and glazed.

Only one of the three co-owners is majoring in business--though that’s an advantage, says Croad.

"Jake is majoring in environmental science, Alec in sports management, and I’m studying psychology and entrepreneurship," Croad says.

"Our separate passions are what drew in all these unique ideas for a business. That’s what makes it fun."

The trio have utilized the resources available to them. In addition to speaking with professionals from Mt. Pleasant’s business community and CMU’s business school, the Ignite Donuts co-founders took part in two business competitions. Though they didn’t win seed money, Croad says they benefited from the valuable knowledge and networking opportunities.

In addition to being found in downtown Mt. Pleasant every Thursday night from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Ignite Donuts will pop up at various events throughout the year, including the Pleasant Town Music & Art Festival on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Follow them on Facebook for additional dates.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Signup for Email Alerts