Charlie’s Donuts, a food truck that sells doughnuts, wheeled itself onto Auburn University’s campus at the beginning of the spring semester. I’ve had the pleasure of eating a doughnut of theirs and it almost surpasses Krispy Kreme.
Take a lot at my interview with the manager and a couple of the employees and go grab yourself a Charlie’s original on campus!
Charlie’s Donuts hits the street with freshly made treats:
Charlie’s Donuts, a Florida Panhandle-based food truck, has brought it’s double-sided glazed, chocolate pastries to the Plains.
Charlie Mingus started Charlie’s Donuts started six years ago in Alys Beach, Fla.
After Jeff Ratcliffe, owner of Charlie’s Donut truck in Auburn, retired from the banking industry after 30 years, he said he decided to buy into Charlie’s Donuts because it was would be a fun way to spend his time.
“My kids went here, and one of them still does and said, ‘There’s nowhere to get doughnuts in Auburn,’” Ratcliffe said. “So, we thought we would talk to the school about a doughnut truck. We also supply all the doughnuts to the campus venues in the Haley Center and Lowder.”
Ratcliffe said Charlie’s Donuts do not even compare to Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
“We’re absolutely better than any other doughnuts,” Ratcliffe said. “We’ll put anybody to the taste test. If you set our doughnuts side-by-side, our doughnuts are bigger [than Dunkin Donuts.]”
Dorcas Booker, Charlie’s Donut sales associate, said Mingus’ doughnuts are tasty compared to other places.
“I think it’s the convenience because to get Dunkin Donuts you have to go down the road and Krispy Kreme is even farther away,” Booker said. “Most places only glaze the doughnuts on one side, but we glazed them on both sides, so they’re really sweet.”
All of the doughnuts are made fresh everyday in Montgomery and then shipped to the food truck by 7:30 a.m.
“We make them all by hand, [and] there’s nothing automated about our system,” Ratcliffe said.
Charlie’s Donuts offers a variety of types of doughnuts, such as crème-filled, sprinkled, chocolate glazed and plain-glazed doughnuts.
“I’m a chocoholic,” Ratcliffe said. “I love anything chocolate, and we make a chocolate-colored, Holland-crème filled doughnut, and I could get a gazillion of them.”
Most of the employees at the food truck are Auburn students or alumni.
“If all the employees were like the Auburn students that work here, the world would be a better place,” Ratcliffe said.
Lindsey Hamrick, Charlie’s Donut sales associate, said she likes the job because it’s on campus.
“I eat a doughnut once a day, so that’s good, but maybe not in the long run,” Hamrick said. “I come here between classes, so it’s nice to not have to drive to a job because it’s on campus.”
Hamrick said the busy hours for the truck are in the morning and right after lunch.
“It seems like everyone wants a dessert after lunch,” Hamrick said.
While Hamrick and Booker do not have any customers to tend to, they said they try to keep the truck looking as neat as possible.
“We also talk a lot when there’s nobody in line, and there’s usually two of us working at a time,” Hamrick said.
Ratcliffe said he and his business partners have found the food trucks to be successful.
“We hope this truck will stay here for many years to come and sell doughnuts to many generations of Auburn students,” Ratcliffe said. “I want everyone to come try our doughnuts. If they do they’ll be hooked.”
**Photos by Emily Enfinger