On February 22, 2018, I had the pleasure of interviewing the Executive Master Baker of Raphael’s Donuts. This pioneer of diabetic low glycemic donuts may be onto something. During a time when, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans with diabetes continues to rise. It’s estimated that 12% of the adult population has the disease. Is custom food for diabetics a trend of the future?
Raphael “Ralph” Tirrell Harlan is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He owns Raphael’s Donuts, a home-based bakery in Flint, Michigan. A promoter of healthy eating habits, Raphael produces vegan diabetic baked-cake doughnuts. This health-conscious baker started his diabetic vegan donut company in May of 2014. He was inspired by his late adoptive mom Cora Lee Harlan who had Type 2 diabetes. Her love of donuts motivated him to create a low glycemic donut recipe. As a self-proclaimed “health-nut baker;” it took Raphael 6-months to test and produce his donut recipe. Once his taste-testers gave him the thumbs up, he was off and running. Raphael’s Donuts was in business.
How the Home-based Bakery Started
Raphael’s started his business with $200 of his own money. But it was the Michigan Cottage Food law that allowed him to bake from his home kitchen. But a true belief in his product and dogged determination drove his success, along with GoFundMe campaigns and a $1500 business grant won in 2015 that gave the business a big boost.
Using credit cards to fund your business is a popular financing option for many new business owners. But is a really a good idea? Raphael has 100% ownership in his home-based bakery and recommends that although you can use business loans, the use of donations and crowd-funding, along with personal savings is a better way to start. As for the busiest times for the donut business. Raphael said May, June, October, and December are his best months, but he is working to get the word out about his donuts making every month a busy month.
This home-based baker has found his niche. Like many home-based bakers, he’s focused on a single product. His specialty is healthy food. The product, a low glycemic vegan donut.
The Bakery’s Mission
Raphael is the “owner, matador-master baker and pioneer.” Stating his mission as “providing great-tasting, awesome donuts that satisfy your taste buds and dietary lifestyles,” Raphael work tirelessly to develop quality products at an affordable price. According to Raphael, “Every person wants to relive their childhood when they want to taste the divine treat and enjoy them. No one wants to live without a great tasting donut.”
Today customers can buy the low glycemic donuts using three channels. The donut delivery service, mail-order, and special-order for large events. Consumers can email Raphael’s Donuts at email@example.com.
It’s obvious Raphael is on to something great. Offering a product that will benefit the health of consumers nationwide.