Applesauce, coconut, cream cheese, and peanut butter and jelly are just a few of the donuts offered at one of Bloomington's recent additions, Jack's Donuts.
Jack’s Donuts opened its new shop on 1115 S. College Mall Rd. on Oct. 18. It is one of the business's 13 new locations that have opened since 2013. Bloomington’s grand opening was the biggest in history, with the most customers in one weekend for Jack's Donuts. Franchise owner Bill Saum said he has Bloomington to thank for that.
“It’s very cool to have a place in Bloomington because it’s such a community and it’s an interesting one with both students and residential customers,” Saum said.
It took about a year to open Jack’s Donuts in Bloomington, and the idea started when Saum met withcurrent CEO Lee Marcum.
“I liked that it was not only a family business, but it was still a manageable number of franchises, so it could still be all about the donuts, not the brand,” Saum said.
The first Jack's Donuts shop opened in 1961, starting as a family business run by Ada and Jack Marcum Jr. in New Castle, Indiana. It was first called Bill’s Donut Shoppe, until Jack Marcum Sr. bought it and renamed it. All of Ada and Jack Jr.’s children worked there, and eventually Jack Jr. bought the business. He is still COO today.
As the shop’s popularity increased over the years, Jack Jr.’s son Lee opened the first franchise in Fishers, Indiana, in 2013. Since then, Jack’s Donuts opened numerous other shops, and there are now 14 total. The business also opened its first out-of-state location this fall in South Jordan, Utah.
Molly Essington, an Indianapolis resident, said she enjoys visiting the Indianapolis location.
“I think their service is different,” Essington said. “It doesn’t feel like you are eating a mass-produced donut.”
Jack’s Donuts sells a variety of donuts, donut cakes and rolls, along with coffee. Their menu includes glazed, cake, stick and filled donuts, and limited flavors such as peanut butter and Oreo. Jack's Donuts introduced coffee to the menu in 2009, and it brews signature coffees and espressos with seven flavors, including seasonal pumpkin spice.
Jackie Willett, a Jack’s Donuts Bloomington employee, said her favorite menu item is the chocolate cake donut with peanut butter frosting. But the donuts are only part of what makes Jack’s so special, said Willett.
“My favorite part of working here is the repeat customers and getting to know the people who come here,” Willett said.
Jack’s Donuts Bloomington is open from 5 a.m. to midnight, so that students can come for a late-night snack.
“I want to support the community, especially young people,” Saum said. “We are a member of Mr. Delivery and Btown Menus, a part of Pocket Points and just applied to work with Campus Access.”
As Jack’s Donuts grows, they still maintain the family atmosphere with which they started.
“Lee visited us four times and baked donuts for the grand opening until 4 a.m.,” Willett said.
The business is very hands-on, and Saum hopes this will continue to draw in customers, especially students.
The company has been growing for more than 50 years, and Saum and the Marcum family hope to continue expanding while remembering where they started.
"I think Bloomington is big enough for one, maybe two more Jack’s Donuts,” Saum said.