Maverick’s Donuts is growing its presence in local communities through franchisees
By Lauren Huneault
Maverick’s Donuts is taking a bite out of the baked goods sector in Canada, bringing its one-of-a-kind donuts to Canadian communities through franchising. The company launched its first location in Ottawa, Ontario in 2016, and has since grown to 11 franchise locations, mainly based in Ontario.
Jon Martin, vice president of franchise development, says the brand’s offering is what sets it apart. “Maverick’s Donuts spent many years refining its products. Unlike most bakeries, we offer a mix of cake donuts and yeast products, along with a superb coffee/espresso program and soft serve ice cream,” he explains. The unique cake donut recipe, pre-mixed and shipped to franchisees, has no preservatives, and uses only the highest-quality ingredients.
Martin, who’s also a franchisee within the Maverick’s system, notes that the brand’s model focuses on quality first, with franchisees making the products fresh in-house every morning to ensure customers receive the best experience when they come in-store.
According to Martin, the benefits of franchising with Maverick’s Donuts “are quite simple. We offer a deliciously fun product that appeals to all age groups and crosses cultures. Our products have good margins, and with many sales channels including weddings, corporate logo donuts, special events, birthdays, fundraisers, and more, franchisees can build their business in so many ways.”
On the flip side, the challenge lies in getting franchisees engaged with their community to sell their product. While social media is a great source of revenue for the brand, notes Martin, franchisees are more successful when they connect with their community through speaking with local organizations, participating in local events, and building key relationships.
“Maverick’s provides all the marketing tools and strategies, and franchisees are expected to use these tools in their local community,” says Martin, who adds that the brand is ready to help franchisees as soon as they sign the franchise agreement, starting with location selection and the construction process.
Baked goods for community goodwill
Martin notes that the ideal Maverick’s Donuts franchisee doesn’t need to have any experience in the food industry, as franchisees receive full training and support. They should, however, have “a desire to operate the business, a positive attitude towards customers and employees, and the ability and desire to be an active part of their local community to help with selling their product in the community.”
One such franchisee who’s focused on providing the ultimate customer experience is Stacie McGill, who purchased the Alta Vista location in the Ottawa area in January 2022. McGill found her way to Maverick’s Donuts after 10 years as a general manager with Tim Hortons, followed by another 10 years as a commercial insurance broker. She decided to go back to her quick service roots when a Maverick’s Donuts location became available in her area. “When we saw that there was an opportunity to become a franchisee, we were very excited, as this was right up my alley from when I worked at Tim’s,” says McGill, who operates the store with her husband, Daine. “We love the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced environment and enjoy building a team that shares the same values and goals as we do.”
McGill says the strong support they received from the Maverick’s head office team was a major comfort
as they started their franchise journey. “They’ve helped us navigate any difficulties and answer any questions that we’ve had,” she explains. “Being a part of the franchise system is like having an extended family; we never feel alone and have open communication and assistance from the franchisors and other store owners.”
Even with this strong sense of community, the past years have been challenging in two main ways, notes McGill. Inflation is at the top of the list, with suppliers applying cost increases multiple times throughout the past year. The other is hiring staff.
The McGills, however, have risen to the challenge and implemented their own solutions. “We’re working on overcoming the increases by making sure that we’re promoting the brand to increase sales and making sure that we’re providing our customers with quality products to ensure that they’ll return and recommend us to their friends and family,” she explains. “As for hiring employees, we do offer competitive wages and benefits for full-time employees. The employees that we currently have really enjoy working for us; we provide a fun and enjoyable environment and recognize the staff for their hard work.”
With more and more ambitious franchisees like the McGills joining the team, Martin says the future for Maverick’s Donuts is very bright. “Our short- and long-term goals are much the same: find quality franchisees in good markets around Canada, ensuring the quality of their products and their business success along the way. We currently have 11 locations open with an additional 22 locations already awarded. We expect that number to increase in 2023, with the goal of being in three to four provinces by year-end.”
McGill says she’s also interested in being part of that continued expansion. “The next step for us would be to own another Maverick’s; we see how the brand is growing and enjoy being a part of their success.”
Find the passion and put in the hard work
Martin says that, above all else, franchisees need to be passionate about what they do to succeed as a franchise owner of any brand, including Maverick’s Donuts. “Find something you’re passionate about, and if that’s owning a bakery and being part of a family and community that emphasizes quality and fun, then Maverick’s might be the perfect fit. Producing our donuts and coffee is hard work, but a real joy for our franchisees.”
From the franchisee perspective, McGill says, “Our advice as business owners is there will be lots of ups and downs. Never be afraid to ask lots of questions and don’t hesitate to ask for advice from the franchisors. They’ve been where you are and understand the ins and outs and how to increase revenue during slow times. We truly believe that being an owner/operator working in the shop daily will only help your business grow. Our employees love that we’re working alongside them!”
Ultimately, franchising with Maverick’s provides the opportunity to build your own business and make valuable connections within your community.
“The thing that we enjoy the most about owning Maverick’s is the fact that this place is ours, and you get
what you put into it,” says McGill. “We love offering our products to events such as charities, weddings, and other special occasions. Promoting the brand has been fun and exciting, as we are a new company and there are still so many people who have never heard of Mavericks Donuts before.”