Gadabout Doughnuts | Sugary Circles of Love & The Power of Your Mind

Donuts Seeing as how National Donut Day passed just recently, it seems appropriate to continue the celebration by introducing you to a gal who has made donuts a part of her livelihood. Karina Rice has spent the last two years perfecting the delectable, sugary circles of goodness! Take a moment to stop drooling over the tasty photos and get to know the genius behind Gadabout Donuts.Growing up, Karina always enjoyed baking. As a homeschooled student she had extra time to experiment and cultivate her passion. While she went the traditional route and attended college, the love of baking never subsided. Karina worked at Starbucks and worked as a nanny, but the entrepreneur within her wouldn’t stay dormant. Neither would her FUTURISTIC strength. Combing her love of baking, with some of her strengths, Karina popped open Gadabout Donuts, a dream she had been imagining. Three weekends a month, with the help of her husband Chaz, Karina sets up shop at a Farmers market, holiday bizarres, and coffee shops. Because her business is still in its formative years, Ms. Rice determined to adapt the pop-up model. This is an approachable model for other early entrepreneurs to consider as they launch. Some benefits are pretty obvious. Clearly the overhead remains low, as there is no monthly rent. Rather than being chained to one location, Gadabout Donuts has the ability to travel to where the people are and build a widespread following along with an influential network of other business owners. Customers are never scarce! You can follow their donut sales via their Instagram feed. Some events even include donuts paired with beer at a local Cincinnati joint or fun coffee shops around town. If a weekend rolls around, and both Karina and Chaz are busy, there is no obligation for them to work. On the other hand, if they desire to work more for some extra cash they can pop up at a few additional venues.

Donuts by nature, are sweet, delicious and desirable. But Karina’s stand apart as some of the best. Rather than sticking with the traditional yeast or cake donut, she chose to do old fashion, sour cream donuts. She played around with different recipes, added her own flair, and patented her product. In addition to her unique recipe, Karina’s flavors set her apart from other bakers.  Favorites such as blueberry + lemon and cranberry + orange, keep pastry connoisseurs coming back for more! A special flavor generally accompanies the traditional donuts. Toasted white coconut in the summer, apple cider in the fall, and chocolate peppermint around Christmas to name a few of the seasonal best. 

One of the most fascinating aspects of Karina’s process is the location in which she makes her product. A community kitchen in downtown Cincinnati, Findlay Kitchen, houses many small, food business owners including Gadabout Donuts. A tour of this kitchen reveals areas dedicated to different types of food prep. At the front of the space is a large kitchen dedicated to cooking classes. Large metal tables, fryers, ovens, and stove tops allow cooking students to learn basic skills in a classroom setting. Along one wall is a series of fully equipped kitchens that can be rented by the hour. Additionally the community space has a bake room, large walk in freezers and refrigerators, fry room, and a storage room. In the storage room Karina has a locked metal cart that holds all her dry ingredient and mixing bowls. On the mornings or evenings when she needs to create her donuts she rents the space(s) required. Seriously so cool! Talk about a community vibe & yet another great option for a budding entrepreneur to meet qualifications with a commercial kitchen and not having to own one themselves!

Making donuts for a living may sound like the dream, but taking the leap took courage on the Rice’s part. Karina shared some practical advice for budding small businesses. Taking time to plan and organize is essential, but allowing yourself to get stuck in that phase ensures your business will never get off the ground. You have to make the leap and dive in! Of course fear will surround you as you take that step, but don’t be afraid of the fear! If you collaborate with others who have made the leap, they will assure you the fear is normal, and perhaps even healthy. One other piece of advice Karina passed along deals with the emotions that coincide with starting something new. Be ready for the rollercoaster! Tears of happiness one day as you succeed, and frustration the next when you sense failure. When you invest so much of yourself into an idea or dream, every part of you becomes entangled.

Ok, I’ve got to be real, and want to stay on that note of advice Katrina left us with- entrepreneur life is such an incredible and terrifying rollercoaster. I mean in one 24 hour span I can feel that my blog, and the movement surrounding it, will someday be featured on Ellen and in the next breath I am considering calling it quits. I have found that one of the most challenging aspects of taking new steps into full time entrepreneurship lies in the mind game that dances and taunts me. One women turns down the opportunity to be featured, and I am tempted to doubt and wonder if what I am doing is the dumbest thing ever. My self-talk gets pretty negative. The next day I may get a comment or remark about the impact of Bridging HerStory and I float to cloud nine— can anyone relate?!!

A flash back to 19 year old Erinn, who spent the summer selling books door-to-door, might cause concern (I think it probably should), but I learned something in those days I will never forget. The power of my own mind. My negative self-talk was a force with which to be reckoned. My days on the “book field” began by hurling out of bed to my alarm and racing to shock my body awake with a freezing cold shower. Along with my fellow book sellers, I would show up to the same local diner for breakfast. Together we would spend the morning psyching each other up, and preparing for the day. (OK some strange things too, like dancing and singing positive songs, “It’s a great day to be a book girl!” in the parking lot…yeah…) Jumping into my car, which was covered in positive motivational slogans, I would be alone and terrified. All the doors ahead, all the “no’s” I would receive by annoyed moms, all 13 hours of knocking on doors in a strange town by myself bore down on me.

And do you know what I found in those long days? The power of my own mind. I could allow myself to sit in the paralysis of fear, or I could position myself to own the opportunities and challenges to become the best version of me. Despite the “no’s” and the possibilities of a “zero day”, life was still good and beautiful and regardless of the rankings, I was still a success. There were hurtles, but I could jump them, there were challenges, but I could problem solve if I allowed my mind to stay positive. Oh there were days I broke down into a sobbing puddle in my 1999 Monte Carlo scared to death, chewing peanut butter crackers and fruit snacks (that is what I survived on for the whole summer). On my better days I let the power of my mind ground me, and speak truths about the possibilities. They were the days that I only gave a slight nod to the possibility of disasters, but looked towards the greater potential of victories.

Now, I am here. I’m on the other side of that summer, not to say I have harnessed the power of my mind, and use this incredible weapon as a force that drives perfected success. I am thankful for those hard days, because they paved the grounds for these days. I am now better able to control and manage my mind, to have a say in the story I tell myself, and to dictate how my failures and successes will play into the greater story. There are still days I ride on the roller coaster- I am so there with you! But I am learning to take the force and energy and direct it in meaningful ways. Thank you Karina for helping explore some of the challenges of beginning a new chapter! Oh- and for the tasty treats- let’s not forget the really important stuff! ;-)

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