About this idea
Raphael's Donuts is the world's first-ever diabetic-safe, allergy-safe, gluten-free vegan donut brand & company, based in Pontiac, Michigan. We were born in May 2014 out of inspiration from my (owner, masterbaker Raphael's) late adoptive mom's history of type two diabetes. No donut company, vegan or non-vegan, had done a diabetic-safe donut before us in world's history. Our donuts and donut ballz are low glycemic in 12 year-round flavors (with three flavors having the lowest net carb counts) and free of refined sugars, soy, yeast, gluten, peanuts, coconuts, tree nuts of all kinds and animal ingredients of all kinds; they're also always oven-baked, never fried. Agave and stevia are our natural sweeteners of choice for Raphael's Donuts and chickpea flour is the gluten-free flour we use. Currently, our Raphael's Donuts donuts and donut ballz are sold on our website for nationwide shipping (across all 50 states), home delivery (within a 35 mile car-delivery radius) and pick up (from our baking operation which is in a rental commercial kitchen at New Mount Moriah International Church in Pontiac; oh yeah we are currently MDA-licensed as a wholesaler). Also, more importantly, they're currently sold in 8 American retailers in Michigan (Unburger Grill in Dearborn, May's Bakery in Allen Park, Moor Herbs Marketplace in Detroit, Porter's Orchard in Goodrich, HOPE Health Foods in Flint Twp & Greener Pastures Market in South Lyon), Vibrations Health, Wellness & Juice Bar in Gary Indiana & The Hangry Planet in San Bruno California.
Impact
Our Raphael's Donuts customers and fans are people living cruelty-free vegan lifestyles or plant-based lifestyles (if they're not vegan but don't eat animal products), people living a gluten-free lifestyle that either have ceilac diseases or intolerances to gluten and wheat, people with diabetics eating a refined-sugar-free and low-glycemic diet, and people with allergies and intolerances to tree nuts, coconuts, peanuts, yeast and soy. Those kinds of customers and fans want to eat delicious oven-baked gluten-free vegan donuts that don't cause them to have high blood sugar levels, elevated ceilac disease symptoms --- even digestive ones --- or don't promote animal exploitation. When people eat Raphael's Donuts time after time and enjoy and love doing so, they feel like their lives have been changed by us, because we're providing them great-tasting donuts and donut ballz that they can always rely on as part of their lifestyles and diets. Plus with them eating our products, no animal gets abused and slaughtered in the process of us making our Raphael's Donuts products. We have over 5500 Facebook fans over 20 states and most of them have benefited for eating them throughout our 8 years of existence. All of the above are why many people consider Raphael's Donuts to be a potential national brand. Even our employees find RD to be life-changing and industry-changing as well.
What I'll do with $5,000
If I were to win the $5000 from this competition for Raphael's Donuts, I'll use the funds towards upgrading ingredient labels, purchasing more donut pans to increase production, and approaching more potential retailers, as well as hiring additional bakers to my team, and book food shows to get our products in the hands of buyers and distributors. Long-term, our ultimate goal is to have our Raphael's Donuts in every like-minded retailer across America, doesn't matter if they're vegan-friendly restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, supermarkets, cider mills, or natural food stores! Currently we have an ongoing fundraiser thru April 30, 2023 which we're raising at least $6000 or more (our actual goal is $20000) in a combination of donations and business grants for the above things we plan of doing. So far we've raised $115 in four weeks' time and it would be great to add this $5000 grant to it if we were to win the pitch contest! Also, not added to the fundraiser, but in December of 2022, we won a $1000 runner-up cash prize in the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream pitch contest in Detroit.
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About Raphael Harlan

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