Menomonie donut shop serves sweet treats and opportunity

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 3:33 PM CDT
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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) - In Menomonie, 12-year-old Sam Husby is known for his fire engine red hair. He is also the face of Donut Sam’s, the newest spot in town to get your sugar fix.

Donut Sam's is named for Tanya and Mike Husby's son, Sam.
Donut Sam's is named for Tanya and Mike Husby's son, Sam.(Tanya Husby)

Sam’s parents, Mike and Tanya Husby opened Donut Sam’s in March finding inspiration in their son who has down syndrome, with the mission to employ teenagers with special needs. It is an idea they have had in mind since Sam was young and they started to think about his future.

“We explored bagel shops, even laundromats just anything where we knew he could have a purpose once he is out of high school because then what is he going to do?" Mike says. “He needs to have an opportunity to do something constructive on a daily basis, a reason to get up every day.”

When Sam is not in school, he works with his family at the shop.

“His favorite things to do are to make boxes,” says his mom, Tanya. “He has also gotten really good at cinnamon sugar donuts.”

The Husbys have also employed another young woman with special needs, named Meredith, the self proclaimed “Donut Diva” of the shop who spends some evenings decorating donuts.

Opening the business has not gone exactly as planned for the Husbys. Because of the pandemic, they opened and closed their doors on the same day in March.

“It is almost like 2020 is a practice year,” Mike says.

In the future, they plan to have a grand re-opening. The Husbys have big plans for Donut Sam’s, hoping to expand their menu items and eventually offer internships for students with special needs.

Donut Sam’s is located at 521 2nd St. E. Menomonie and is open 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Donut Sam’s is closed Wednesday and Sunday.

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