Maria and Dan launched the @doughnut_days Instagram account in 2020 to document their sweet adventures while traveling out of Raleigh, North Carolina. However, as the boredom of quarantine got the better of Maria in March 2021, Maria, who asked MyMCM not to publish her last name for privacy reasons, realized that she could recreate their fulfilled adventures. of donuts a little closer to home.
“It was a generally safe thing to do during the pandemic and it’s not expensive either. So it’s a very inexpensive way to spend time and a safe way to do it as well. So we started going locally to donut sites and then I started mapping it because I love the data, ”Maria told MyMCM.
The shared love of donuts brought Maria and Dan together and reminded Maria, originally from Argentina, of her homeland custom of having a fourth meal of the day consisting of coffee and pastry.
“Each culture has a sweet part of a shared experience. A donut is basically the equivalent of this but in American form. It’s the American equivalent of my experiences in Argentina, she said. “I started this project because our love for donuts was overwhelmed by a few other things. We started having these adventures as part of our dating experience, and we finally started to see if we could have some weird experiences and enjoy the donuts at the same time.
Maria used the social media platform Reddit to get comments on the first draft of her donut menu. While the map initially featured the ‘donuts’ and ‘donut-shaped objects’ filters to sort out the places she found, it quickly expanded to include ‘baked cakes’, ‘irregular’ and Vegan and gluten-free donuts as engagement increased. Maria also decided to expand her map to include the DC area and Montgomery County, where Dan grew up.
“The Raleigh [donut] the map was so well received that I started to see if Washington DC, Montgomery County, and anywhere else in the DMV area that had a subreddit would be interested in seeing [the maps] and contribute feedback, ”she said. “If they see something, they’ll send me a message on Reddit or Instagram and then I can add it to the map. So it’s really cool in terms of community collaboration.
According to Maria, people were so excited about her donut map for DC and surrounding areas, including Montgomery County, that she crashed the first time she posted it on Reddit.
“They crashed it… then I checked and there was something like 15,000 views on my maps. Eventually it started working again, but I created a second version based on their suggestions, and I just edited one recently last week to add all the new filters, new places and all missing places, ”she said.
As of November 19, 154 stores were selling donuts or donut-like treats within a 40-mile radius of Rockville, Maryland. The DC Metropolitan Area Map includes stores throughout Montgomery County, including Bethesda, Potomac, Germantown, Olney, and Silver Spring.
“The maps are created to show you where you can get a donut or donut-like item. So when you watch it, I go through and create little reviews about each place based on the information I find online. And then I share that and… I usually post on places that I really, really like [on Instagram]. “
Maria and Dan’s “Donut Days” include their Instagram account, a website with donut cards for Raleigh and DC, and a blog where they post unique or enjoyable experiences on their donut adventures. A blog post described their adventure at Aspin Hill Memorial Park in Silver Spring.
“We went to the Sunday Morning Bakehouse, which is in Pike & Rose, bought some brioche donuts and met a few friends at the Aspin Hill Memorial Gardens. I wrote a blog post about how absolutely fascinating and how amazing it is to see their tombstones dating from 1902 for these little creatures… You are sad that these animals are gone, but you feel really how much these people love them enough to build the space for them, ”she said.
Donut Cards aren’t trying to convince people to visit certain donut stores, Maria says, but rather to be a neutral source of all donut information for donut lovers like her and Dan.
“These cards have pretty much every possible place for donuts, every place you can get a donut, that’s what I’m trying to accomplish, within reason, [and] lobby specifically for local manufacturers… What I like is not necessarily what others like, and I have found that across the board.
Maria’s advice to anyone looking to step up their donut game is to keep an open mind and try everything.
“Go with an open mind. Try it, watch it, see what interests you and keep trying. We haven’t even gone the whole map, we’re constantly trying new things. Sometimes a mishap is an adventure.