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Handing Over the Dough: Boise-Based Misson Donut Buys Guru Donuts

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Krystle and Evan McLaughlin of Boise-based pop-up Mission Donut were just days away from signing a lease on their first brick-and-mortar location when an introduction from a friend brought their business plans to a spark-throwing halt.

"We had a draft lease in hand on Mission Donut, and then, you know, it's one of those things where you really couldn't have predicted it would happen this way, we couldn't have foreseen it, but we were introduced to Kevin and Angel [Moran, owners of Guru Donuts] through mutual friends. [Our friends] knew that we did Mission, and they knew at the time that Kevin and Angel were looking to sell Guru Donuts," said Evan.

Krystle and Evan McLaughlin pose on the steps of Guru Donuts. - LEX NELSON
  • Lex Nelson
  • Krystle and Evan McLaughlin pose on the steps of Guru Donuts.
To hear the McLaughlins tell it, Mission and Guru were a match made in heaven. After a two-hour sitdown with the Morans in Guru's space in the Idanha building on the corner of 10th and Main streets, the McLaughlins were convinced. Official notice of the sale, which went through March 12, hit Facebook on March 18 in a post that began, "Welcome to the next chapter in our donut journey… We are the new owners of Guru Donuts."

An official statement from Guru Donuts explained the Morans' rationalle this way: "The Morans have built a strong reputation through hard work, perseverance and creativity, earning the award for “Best Donuts” state- and nationwide. Recognizing they reached their goals and satisfied their vision, the Moran’s invited the McLaughlins to carry on their donut dream."

"The mission behind Guru Donuts was very similar to the mission behind Mission Donut: community-focused," said Evan. "We really want to pour into the donuts that we have and find ways that we can impact people."



That said, the products the two companies made were very different. Mission is known for its potato-based donuts, which the McLaughlins pedaled out of their garage, offering pick-up and delivery starting in the fall of 2018. Guru, on the other hand, is a Boise icon, known for its creative flavors, vegan options and wide range of community partnerships. But in a funny coincidence, it, too, was once run out of a North End garage. The McLaughlins were quick to assure that none of what Boiseans love about Guru is going away—not even the name. Instead, Mission will come under the Guru umbrella.

"I'm taking over Angel's role as the Donut Evangelist, and Evan is taking on a new role as the Donut Visionary," said Krystle. She plans to manage the shop, while Evan will handle the company's finances and growth.

The Guru baking team will remain in place, and the McLaughlins said they're putting Mission's potato-based donut recipe in their hands. For now, orders of Mission donuts will be suspended, but eventually potato-based and gluten-free options will make their way into Guru's pastry case. In the meantime, the McLaughlins are gearing up for Treefort, during which they plan to open an unofficial "Guru Fort" in the neighboring 600-square-foot space that they took over along with Guru's footprint. Future plans for that space are still uncertain, but its outdoor seating on Main Street will no doubt be put to good use by hungry patrons during the music festival.

As for the Morans, Angel had this to say in Guru's statement: “We never imagined we would ever have an iconic donut shop in the heart of downtown Boise. We are eternally grateful for the community that rallied support to bring our dream alive. We are excited to see how the next chapter of Guru Donuts unfolds.”

Check out Mission Donut's full Facebook post on the purchase below.