It's National Doughnut Day, an observance dating back to the 1930s, which honors the Salvation Army "Lassies" who served doughnuts and other treats to U.S. Troops during World War I. Here in Kentucky, we take our doughnuts pretty seriously. In fact, the New York Times once traced a doughnut trail across our great Commonwealth. One of the state's most beloved doughnut stops is in a gas station! That's the great thing about doughnuts: they're inexpensive, accessible, and enjoyed by almost everybody! My favorite doughnut spot is Hi-Five Doughnuts, which serves amazing creations with a Kentucky flair. You absolutely MUST try the bourbon caramel glaze, and if you're really brave, you can try the Kentucky Fried Buttermilk Chicken Doughnut.
Hi-Five Doughnuts is one of my favorite Kentucky businesses, combining local ingredients, awesome female entrepreneurs, incredible marketing, and a fabulous product. Let's celebrate National Doughnut Day with five fun facts about Hi-Five Doughnuts!!!
1. Hi-Five is woman-owned and operated. Leslie Wilson and Annie Harlow began their business running a food truck, affectionately named Shelby, then opened a storefront in Louisville's Butchertown neighborhood.
2. The business name pays tribute to the legend that the custom of giving a high-five was invented in a U of L basketball practice in the 1970s.
3. Hi-Five has trademarked their hashtag! When you talk about the #ladiesofthemorning, then according to to the US Patent and Trademark office you're referencing Hi-Five Doughnuts!
4. The Hi-Five business model is so cool, a book has been written about it! Dr. Lyle Sussman of U of L's College of Business wrote "Breaking the Glaze Ceiling: Sweet Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Wannabes", which establishes 12 business principles based on Leslie and Annie's success. In interviewing the Doughnut Ladies for a prior article, I was so impressed that they built the entire enterprise on a no-debt model, opting instead to purchase only what they could afford at any given time.
5. Everybody loves Hi-Five! The Travel Channel has visited them, they're a staple at local events like the Forecastle Festival, and they're often served as a finishing touch at local galas and weddings.