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Doughnut Rush

Sugar Shack owner Ian Kelley’s very sweet, pastry-throwing, charity-helping, Foo-Fighters-order-filling, very long days.


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Sugar Shack’s Ian Kelley bought 100 tickets to the crowd-sourced Foo Fighters show Wednesday night. He saved half for his employees and gave the others away through such wide-ranging competitions as a scavenger hunt, a contest for the best drawing of band frontman Dave Grohl eating a doughnut, a doughnut-throwing contest at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and a frenzied doughnut-eating contest at the Lombardy Street shop.

There were charitable contests as well, including a raffle for donations to the Pink Ink Fund, which helps breast-cancer survivors pay for post-mastectomy tattoos, and a can drive for FeedMore, which resulted in enough food to fill a box truck.

By the time the big day arrived, Kelley was wiped out. “The first couple days were fun, but after three or four contests, I was completely over it,” he says. “I thought I was going to have six weeks to give away these tickets, but then all of a sudden, the band was like, ‘We’ll be there in two weeks.’ And I had to organize everything.”

Here’s what Kelley’s Wednesday looked like in the hours leading up the big concert:

6 a.m.: Kelley wakes up and is in the shop working by 7. He’s had earlier mornings, but the day, at this point, seems manageable. The plan: In addition to the doughnuts to stock his shop on Lombardy and on East Main streets, he and his team must make six dozen doughnuts for the Foo Fighters and another 12 dozen for a special order.

7:30 a.m. A longtime customer walks in the door to pick up her order for 17 dozen doughnuts. No one can find the order or remembers the call, but the team quickly pounds out another large batch for her.

Mid-morning: All doughnuts are boxed and ready to go. Kelley goes down to the National to drop off the band’s doughnuts, but is informed the band won’t be there until 2 p.m. He wants them fresh, fresh, fresh for the Foo Fighters, so he leaves those doughnuts for the National’s staff and goes back to the shop to make some more.

1:30 p.m. He returns to The National with the Foo Fighters’ doughnuts and makes sure everything is straight with the tickets at will call. He returns to the shop to make sure his employees have their tickets.

3 p.m. He goes home, falls asleep and wakes up moments before the show is about to start.

The show: “Halfway through the first song,” Kelley says, “it was that moment of, ‘This was so worth every ticket giveaway, every complaint -- everything was just worth it.’”

The next morning: Kelley is in his shop with his team making 50 dozen doughnuts for Maggie Walker L. Governor’s School. The students are selling them to raise money to help build a school in Guatemala. How can Kelley say no?


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