Writer / Michelle Kaufman
Photographer / Samantha Brammer
Franchisee Ralph Allen was first introduced to the Jack’s Donuts brand at the Fishers location when he would take his three grandkids there after soccer games.
“They like to go to Jack’s Donuts in Fishers,” he said. “I was sitting there watching the process, watching the friendly staff behind the counter, and just watching the amount of people that were coming into the store. I just got curious about it and I started doing research on it.”
He soon met with Jack’s Donuts CEO Lee Marcum and decided to open his own franchise. Allen has lived in Greenwood since 1972 and saw a quality doughnut shop in the Greenwood area would be well received.
Allen was previously a part owner of Century 21 Landtree, where he built 150 homes in areas such as the Walnut Woods neighborhood. After the 2008 recession he began looking into other businesses and thought he would enjoy owning a doughnut shop. He has been training, along with his staff, at two existing Jack’s Donuts locations, including the original store in New Castle.
Allen acquired the former Zoey’s Pizzeria in Greenwood and has been transforming it into a coffee shop with flat screen televisions, free Wi-Fi, a coffee bar, different types of seating and a drive-up window. Allen plans to open the Greenwood store around New Year’s Day, but he plans to wait to open the drive-up window until his 10 to 15 employees become fully acclimated with the store’s operations.
“I think this location is going to be great. We’re in the heart of the Greenwood/Center Grove community,” he explained. “I’m hoping that the people of both the communities will enjoy our product. I feel really good that this is going to be a very unique, but also very pleasant, place for people to come and enjoy.”
Allen wants to give his Jack’s location an old-fashioned feel as well as make it someplace to host business meetings or breakfast groups. His bakers will come in at 1 to 2 a.m. to ensure doughnuts will be fresh by the time the store opens at 4:30 a.m.
“I’m just hoping it becomes a go-to place for people who want doughnuts,” Allen said. “I would like to be the main doughnut store here in the Greenwood/Center Grove marketing area. I hope that people will come in not only for our doughnuts, but also our coffee and just a casual dining experience. When I used to build houses, it was always exciting for me to see something kind of rise out of the ground from a vacant lot … coming in, making changes and trying to visualize what you want and watching it come to fruition. For me, that’s always been the exciting part.”
Jack’s Donuts of Greenwood will be open 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. No official opening date has been announced. The store is located at 3115 Meridian Parke Drive.