Member Spotlight: Marge’s Donut Den
Nestled at 1751 28th St. SW in Wyoming, Marge Winters-Wilson opened her doors to Marge’s Donut Den in June 1975. It has been a beloved staple and “home away from home” for the community for over forty years. That’s a lot of people and a LOT of donuts over the years.
A savvy business-woman from the beginning, Marge and team built an addition to the Donut Den in 2014, allowing new opportunities for local organizations, businesses and clubs to gather, network and catch up while enjoying Marge’s famous coffee and donuts.
What better way to celebrate the upcoming NATIONAL DONUT DAY (June 1, 2018) than at Marge’s Donut Den? We caught up with Marge, surrounded by her many family and friends, on a busy day at the Donut Den to ask her why she loves the Grand Rapids Chamber and how she celebrates their biggest day of the year.
After 40 years in business and almost 20 years as a Grand Rapids Chamber Member, how do you feel you still benefit from your membership?
I think it just makes sense to support the local Chamber because it’s how you reach customers and see what events are coming up within your community. I like to stay up-to-date on what other local businesses are up to and be in the know on what is happening in Grand Rapids. I really pay attention to the businesses that support the Chamber as members, and then I, in turn, support them.
A few minutes into your visit, you realize quickly that Marge’s Donut Den is much more than a donut shop. We asked Marge how her business is supporting the community today.
Years ago, I started gathering Wyoming businesses into our shop to talk about how we can help others in the community. For example, next week we will host “Mentor Magic,” where interested business students from Wyoming high school visit a variety of local businesses to see how they work, hear success stories and receive hands-on experience. Other months, we will coordinate cleaning the city streets. Businesses have challenges – especially after 43 years – and touching base with the community is my absolute favorite part of my job.
We can only guess you go BIG for National Donut Day on June 1st. How does Marge’s Donut Den celebrate?
We honor National Donut Day by honoring the event originally created by The Salvation Army. In 1917, The “Lassies,” as they were nicknamed, made plain cake donuts and handed them out to World War 1 soldiers, nicknamed “Dough Boys,” in large silver bowls.
Every National Donut Day, we give out free, plain cake donuts in large silver bowls to customers all day, while hosting the Salvation Army as they ring their bell and collect donations for their nonprofit.
Even when it’s not National Donut Day, Marge is busy hosting a shop full of friends and family. But even after 43 years, Marge wouldn’t have it any other way. “I could never have these many people in my living room. Here, I can offer them coffee and donuts, and there’s room for everyone. It’s truly an extension of my home.”