Smile Politely

Industrial Donut employee shares about cake donuts and working in a donut shop

Industrial Donut is a relatively new donut shop in Savoy, with tons of people of all ages visiting for its creative donuts. The beautiful minimalist style of the shop along with its never-before-seen donut flavors creates a good vibe for all who enter the store. Not to mention, the family-owned nature of the shop is an added benefit to the sense of community. Thus, I was excited to interview an employee of Industrial Donut Anna Park.

She told me about the friendly environment of the Industrial Donut staff and gave me some insight into working in such a hectic environment with customers constantly rushing in and out. As one could imagine, working at a donut shop is clearly an exciting task — one that is sure to serve the people of Champaign-Urbana for years to come.

Photo by Anna Park.

Smile Politely: Hello! Can you introduce yourself and how long you’ve worked at Industrial Donut?

Anna Park: Hi, I’m Anna Park, a junior at Uni High School. I’ve been working at Industrial Donut since this past July.

Photo by Anna Park.

SP: Can you describe what a regular day looks like working at Industrial Donut?

Park: I normally come in on Saturdays about one hour after opening, so it is already really busy when I start my shift. When it is a pretty normal time, customers come through the line and our donut makers custom make the order while the customer is still ordering. Then, the customer gets their donuts in seconds. Off to the side, other workers make custom order donuts for big events, take online orders, and manage pickups.

There are two donut fryers in the front part of the store, and on busy days, it fries all day, making trays and trays of fresh donuts. In the back is where the donut batter and icings are being made, and they get changed regularly.

SP: Would you be able to talk about the unique decision of making only cake donuts instead of standard yeast donuts?

Park: With the cake donuts, we don’t have to worry about waiting for the dough to rise, and it saves us a lot of time. Standard yeast donuts require workers to come early in the morning in order to have enough for customers by opening, but we come at a normal morning time and easily make a tray of donuts after whipping up some batter.

Photo from Industrial Donut’s Facebook page.

SP: What’s your favorite part of working at a donut shop?

Park: My favorite part of working at a donut shop is the general environment. It’s fast paced and always smells really good which is a huge plus.

SP: What’s your favorite donut-icing-topping combo?

Park: I try to get the weekly special every time I go because they all taste very good, but with the normal donuts, I think my favorite combo is chocolate icing and Andes mints.

SP: Why did you decide to work at Industrial Donut? What drew you to it?

Park: I decided to work at Industrial Donut because I wanted to serve back to my community during the pandemic. I chose Industrial over other restaurants because it’s a family owned business. The employees and owners are very kind and helpful.

Photo from Industrial Donut’s Facebook page.

SP: Industrial Donut emphasizes its unique way of ordering any kind of donut. I know there was a printable order form. Can you describe how it works, your experiences using it, and what you like about it?

Park: Currently, because of the coronavirus, we do not use the printable order form to prevent spreading of germs. The cashier does it at the front, and you just tell them your order. The concept is pretty easy: you just choose an icing and what toppings you want. I like the simplicity and that you can choose whatever you want no matter how weird the combination. If choosing all your toppings is too much pressure, there are also combination recommendations like the Dirty Donut and the PB&J Hole that have their own set of ingredients. You can also never go wrong with the special of the week.

SP: How would you describe your relationship with the employees at Industrial Donut?

Park: I love working with the other employees at Industrial Donut. This was my first real job, so it was difficult in the beginning, but everyone was very helpful and nice to me no matter how many times I asked for help. After a while, it kind of feels like a big family. Even if you aren’t close with individual employees, everyone works together really well.

SP: What has working during the pandemic been like? Any challenges or stories you want to share?

Park: There are definitely a lot of differences such as no more indoor dining and sanitizing a lot more than usual. However, I don’t know a lot since I started during the pandemic. I think a hard part as a cashier is being able to hear and talk to customers through masks while also staying a respectable distance away from them.

SP: What’s something customers can do to make your job easier or safer?

Park: Please wear a mask properly when you come into the store! It makes a safer environment for everyone.

SP: How is the shop doing? Is it busy?

Park: The shop is always busy on weekends and particularly busy during the holidays like Easter and Christmas. There’s not a lot of time to rest in between customers, so I assume it’s doing well.

SP: Any recommendations on toppings or particular icings?

Park: Always look for the weekly special! Lots of them are really delicious, and they are very limited. Sometimes it’s with a special icing or a special cake batter. Make sure to order some wonderful personalized donuts from Industrial Donuts if you can.

Industrial Donut
501 Commerce Dr.
M-Sa 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Top image from Industrial Donut’s Facebook page.

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