Jan 10, 2023 - Food and Drink

Charlotte-based Your Mom’s Donuts will close in February

Flavors spanned everything from sweet to savory. Photo: Emma Way/Axios

There’s a picture of Courtney Ahern standing behind the counter at Your Mom’s Donuts with her twins wrapped around her front and on her back as she serves doughnuts.

“That’s how I did life,” Ahern tells Axios.

She spent much of the last decade growing Your Mom’s Donuts from a home-delivery business in October 2013, to a pop-up cart in Uptown in 2016, to the now multiple brick-and-mortar locations, but that chapter will soon close.

Driving the news: Your Mom’s Donuts’ last day of business is Feb. 5.

  • Both the Park Road Shopping Center and Matthews locations will close after that day, Ahern tells Axios.
Ahern with her twins. Photo courtesy of Courtney Ahern

Why it matters: Inflation and the lingering effects of the pandemic have been hard on a lot of small businesses, especially the dining industry.

“There isn’t a big bank behind me — it’s just me,” Ahern told Axios.

By the numbers: The impact of inflation hit the doughnut shop hard. Eggs, for example, increased from $1.50 to $5.76 for a dozen. Your Mom’s Donuts uses 90-120 dozen eggs a week.

  • Last fall, Ahern raised doughnut prices, but she says that barely offset the total cost of ingredients. She says she would need to charge $8 for a doughnut instead of the $2.50-$4 she currently charges in order to make a profit.

Zoom in: Ahern says she’s burned out. The mom of three, who also home-schools her children, commutes to Charlotte once a week from Charleston.

  • Commuting and running the business remotely also meant sacrificing much of the community aspect that made Your Mom’s Donuts special.
  • “I’m going to tell you a secret — my passion is not doughnuts,” Ahern said with a laugh, “my passion is people and community and when that part isn’t around every day, you can’t fight the exhaustion anymore.”

What’s next: Ahern plans to take a break and spend more time with her kids.

  • “Right now, it feels like a really raw wound,” she said.
Photo: Emma Way/Axios
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