The Barstool Fund - The Donut Palace

Up next: The Donut Palace (Ellisville, MO)

The Donut Palace of Ellisville specializes in serving the freshest hand crafted donuts daily and also brewed to order Douwe Egbert coffee. They also serve a variety of other specialty items — all with a personal family touch.

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Reader Email

My name is Nora Saladin. I am the 19 year old daughter of the owners of Donut Palace, Ann and Steve Saladin. When I was a little girl growing up, I would go to Donut Palace with my dad every single Saturday. This was before he owned it and way before the pandemic was ever a thought in our minds. This place is so special to so many people in the St. Louis area. It was such a special tradition to our family that a few years ago, we bought it! When my parents bought it a few years ago they were required to make significant capital Improvements. My parents poured their heart and soul into fixing up the store. They worked countless hours into making it a place where families would want to sit and spend time together just like we used to. For almost two years Donut Palace was thriving. Adults coming in on weekday mornings to bring donuts to work, kids coming in on their way to school to grab breakfast, lines out the door on weekends full of families grabbing their weekend treat just like I used to with my dad, and families coming in to sit down on Sundays after Church. We had deliveries, we had catering orders, we had mass orders every day to different businesses. Every single day we had familiar faces of people in the community who just adored Donut Palace. Business was thriving. Until it was not. In March of 2020 we were demolished by Covid-19. In order to really understand how horribly this pandemic has hurt my family, you need to understand who my family is. Since I was born, my parents have worked tirelessly to give me the best life I can have. Now, I am joined by my 5 younger siblings: Stephen-17, Jack-13, Mary Catherine-10, Colleen-5, and little Brigid- 3. I grew up having my dad be around for every milestone in my life. My sisters have a quite different story since this has all begun. Since Covid started, my dad woke up every day at 3 in the morning to go in and make donuts and take care of everything on the logistical side of the business. My mom also gets up at 3 every single morning to take care of our mass delivery orders and donations and also work in shop so that customers can come in and see a friendly face. My parents work 24/7 to keep this business running. They work so hard that I am genuinely concerned for their health. They do this for the 6 of us so that I can still go to college, so that my brothers can still continue on their dreams of being soccer stars, so that my sister can continue with her irish dancing, and so our two little girls can choose to do whatever they want just like we all did. During the pandemic, I myself also worked at Donut Palace. Me and my dad would get up most morning to do donut deliveries to neighborhoods so that we could keep scraping by and keep our store open. Personally, this was extremely hard for me. It affected my ability to do online school and get good grades, and then I would have to come home everyday and take care of my siblings because my parents were still working tirelessly. I worked everyday without getting paid because my parents couldn’t afford it, I simply worked to help out and I got tip money as well. All 3 of us were running everyday on barely any sleep. The donut deliveries were the only reason we were making it through. With work places and schools and churches and everything closed, we had no mass orders, we had no kids coming to get donuts before school, and we had no people coming in to get boxes of donuts for work. We had lost 70% of our business in just a second. The 30% that we still had came quite literally from the love and loyalty of our community. People were sending in mass orders for me and my dad to deliver to their neighborhoods, our same friendly faces would come in as much as possible to grab a box of donuts, and people were coming in to support our donut donations. That is the kind of family run business that we are. In our lowest of lows we donated donuts to every hospital in St. Louis so that our healthcare workers could know that we were thinking of them. Over the course of the pandemic, we have donated 7,000 donuts to our local healthcare workers. Dave, my parents and this business are so special to me and to the St.Louis community. Donut Palace has been around for 25 years. My family has worked themselves tirelessly to keep this store running, to keep people in this town smiling, and to help our hero’s around this city. My parents are most deserving people in the world of this fund and it would mean the absolute world to them so I implore you from the bottom of my heart, please help my family.

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