Learn about Florida Entrepreneur Zezura and Patrick Ruddell:
Zezura and Patrick Ruddell, co-founders of Mini Doughnut Factory, which is a GrowFL 2017 Florida Companies to Watch honoree, are serial entrepreneurs who understand that there is no such thing as failure in the world of entrepreneurship.
"My husband is a phoenix rising from the ashes and a true entrepreneur," Zezura said. "I'm really his backup. We've done real estate investment and online ventures, and I'm always there with him. He wants to be his own boss and he's showed me there are many additional ways to make a living than being an employee."
Mini Doughnut Factory makes and sells fresh, made-to-order mini doughnuts that patrons can customize in many different ways with topping and icing variations.
"You can mix and match them any way you'd like," Zezura explained. "We have our own coffee beans and ice cream products. We offer doughnut milkshakes in any flavor and doughnut sundaes. Because we do mini doughnuts, you can get more variety of flavors. Three of our doughnuts are like one standard doughnut. When you order a standard doughnut, you are committed to the same flavor for the whole doughnut. But with ours you can get three different flavors for the same amount of actual doughnut."
The Ruddells have grown their business to 35 employees in two years. Being honored as a GrowFL Florida Company To Watch is important validation for them.
"Anytime we are given an award like this, it is such an honor and very humbling," Zezura said. "We've received a couple awards and it doesn’t ever get old. It's something so special because we started from scratch not knowing what we were doing. To get so much support from the community, it is truly an honor. To get recognized for our business and how well it's doing, it’s a validation of our hard work, sweat and tears, and hours away from family and friends."
Zezura Ruddell's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is do not delay.
"Don’t wait," she said. "Too many people have ideas and keep waiting for the right time to jump in, but there is no right time. There has to be planning, but if this is something you really want to do, then you should absolutely pursue it and not wait. Even do it on the side if you have to and put as many hours into it as you can. Also, reach out to other people in the industry and bounce ideas off them to get feedback."