SCOTTSDALE, AZ — We all love donuts, right? But not everyone has found a way to turn donuts into a new career. Alex McEntire was working a corporate job in Seattle, but her office job didn’t make her as happy as making donuts made her.
At the end of 2019, McEntire packed up to leave Washington to return to her home state of Arizona with the goal of opening her own donut shop. But nearly a month and a half later, we would enter into a pandemic from COVID-19.
“I was doing pop-ups, and farmer’s markets and things like that,” said McEntire, “it’s kind of been a long time coming, and I figured the whole brand and mission is to spread more joy and positivity, it’s been a rough year for a lot of people, so people needed it now more than ever.”
Despite a pandemic, McEntire decided to open Chin Up Donuts, and she became the Chief Donut Officer — a self-proclaimed title that she prefers instead of Chief Executive Officer, “If I could make the business work, and keep the doors open now, I could make it through most anything,” she said.
Chin Up Donuts has the hope of doing that just — reminding people to keep their chin up — and what better way to brighten people’s day than with a donut in a retro-style donut shop.
To help grow the business she started in November, McEntire applied for Vans "Foot the Bill" campaign — an initiative to help businesses in the pandemic. McEntire has a retro-style brand that helped her be selected as one of the businesses to feature. McEntire was able to design a "Custom Old Skool" shoe and t-shirt that was sold for several weeks with the proceeds going back to Chin Up Donuts to help pay employees, keep her business open and help with marketing her product.
“Chin Up Donuts specializes in spicy, savory, and unexpected glazes that re-invent the way that customers look at donuts,” writes Evolve PR.
“An important element to the Chin Up Donut experience is our retro-style shop and branding. I’m so grateful for Vans’ support of my small woman-owned business during this challenging time for many local restaurants,” said McEntire.
With the Foot the Bill campaign ending, McEntire said she expects the net proceeds in the form of a grant within six weeks.
Chin Up Donuts is located off Scottsdale Road and Frank Lloyd Wright.