Mary Ann Donuts satisfies Kent’s sweet tooth


Aaron Frazee, Maddy Jordan and Jenny Stamberger (from left) decide on their donut selections while worker Brittany Tosatto cashes out Kevin Taylor at Mary Ann Donuts on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014.

Justin Graci

Last year, the Mary Ann Donuts franchise came to Kent. Kent State alumna Danielle Brickwood opened the branch in March, and it has been attracting donut and coffee lovers from all over the city.

Mary Ann Donuts is a chain that was originally opened by Danielle’s grandparents — Peter and Mary Welden — back in 1947, and has expanded to many locations all over Northeast Ohio. With the help of her brother Patrick, Danielle has moved up the chain and now runs the café in Kent.

Brickwood graduated from Kent State in 2007 with a degree in education, but ended up managing Mary Ann Donuts instead.

“A lot of people ask me if I’m mad about finishing school, since I don’t use my degree,” she said. “I’m not mad at all. I use a lot of life skills that you learn going to college in my management style. I think teaching kind of allows for a lot of management training, and I’m really happy where I’m at.”

Patrick Welden, Danielle’s younger brother and Mary Ann Donuts Plant operations manager, graduated from Kent State in 2010 and said that he and Danielle make a great team.

“Danielle’s come along very well,” he said. “She didn’t get a business degree, but the implementation of an idea is much different than the idea itself. The ideas that you come up with can’t usually be done without a group or a team.”

When Mary Ann Donuts opened in Kent last year, the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed them to town with a ribbon cutting, said Lori Wemhoff, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.

“From the very beginning, the Weldon’s have been committed to our local economy,” she said. “First by opening a great place like Mary Ann Donuts here and second by joining and supporting the Chamber of Commerce. They were one of the first local restaurants to sign up to participate in the Taste of Kent, which is part of the Chamber’s annual Business & Community Expo.”

Mary Ann Donuts prides itself on its good service and great products, Brickwood said.

“I’m looking forward to see if we can some more traffic flow into the store,” she said. “My concern isn’t the product or the service. If we didn’t have either of those, we wouldn’t have so many repeat customers.

“It’s cold right now, but we have a drive-thru, and I don’t think a lot of Kent students know that they can get some food and stay warm at the same time by using it.”

Danielle and the entire Weldon family are contributing to the Kent’s business community by investing their money and time into starting a business here, Wemhoff said.

“I think that it’s great that Kent State alumni like Danielle choose to make Kent their home and open a business here,” she said. “It shows their commitment to the area and them wanting to be a part of a growing and prospering business community.”

“We’ve branched out all over Northeast Ohio, so I think we’ll be here as long as the sun comes up,” Weldon said. “We’ve been around for a while, and one thing I think that’s changing is how we make our products accessible to people.

“It’s a lot of work, and it’s different in all of our locations. We make 30,000 donuts every day and the more we make the better off we are. We’re trying to get a delivery system set up for all of the students who can’t just drive up to the store; I think that would be a huge change for the Kent store.”

For more information on Mary Ann Donuts, check out their website:

Contact Justin Graci at [email protected].