For Chapel Hill resident Diego Vallota and twin UNC lacrosse players Harrison and Henry Schertzinger, it all began as a joke — when they couldn't find doughnuts they enjoyed in Chapel Hill, they set out to create and sell their own.
"We just figured we'd have a lot of fun," Vallota said. "We all love doughnuts with a passion, so we figured the worst thing we would get out of this is a lot of delicious doughnuts."
The three housemates now run NANDO's Donuts, located on 119 E. Longview St. After taking a summer hiatus, the shop plans to reopen in early September to serve the public on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Henry Schertzinger said the trio decided to open the shop before they even knew how to make the pastry.
“We believed we could start anything if we put our mind to it,” Henry Schertzinger said. “Doughnuts just happened to be one of our loves in life.”
NANDO's — which stands for Not Another Bad Doughnut — opened in November of last year. By May, Vallota said the shop sold an average of 200 to 300 doughnuts per week.
"NANDO's definitely would not be here if we didn't have such a great community around us," he said.
NANDO’s employee Adaliene Andsager said that, though the shop's early customers were largely athletes, their clientele has since broadened.
"We've had professors, other students and even people just from the greater Chapel Hill community," Andsager said.
But the shop’s mission is about more than just doughnut sales, Henry Schertzinger said. One hundred percent of the shop's proceeds go to Operation Underground Railroad, a non-profit organization that aims to combat human trafficking.
Henry Schertzinger said he hopes the shop will help bring attention to this global industry.
“We don’t care how many doughnuts we sell, but if we can make people aware of the problem of sex trafficking around the world, that’d be amazing,” he said.
Kate Bollermann, a frequent NANDO’s customer, said she believes the shop’s charitable donations help spread positivity and fellowship within the community.
"The way they have been able to turn something fun, like making doughnuts, into a positive impact is really cool," Bollermann said.
She said the shop's lively atmosphere is what motivates her to return each week, calling it a “bright spot” in her weekend.
Spreading joy through sharing the product is central to the team’s goal, Vallota said.
“I think that’s my favorite part actually, the interactions we have,” Vallota said. “Those are the reasons that we do it, because we have so much fun making the content and meeting new people.”
For now, Henry Schertzinger said NANDO’s hopes to continue expanding. The team has since begun selling themed merchandise and will add additional homemade granola sales to the menu upon their September reopening.
Harrison Schertzinger said he hopes adding a healthier choice to their menu will help NANDO’s become a place that appeals to everyone.
“We also want to serve people that aren’t intrigued by doughnuts, to reach as many people as possible,” Harrison Schertzinger said.
Ultimately, Andsager said she encourages the community to visit the shop.
"It is a place where almost anything can be forgotten, just for a second," Andsager said. "You can have your doughnuts and enjoy just living in the moment."
To learn more about NANDO's, visit their Instagram page.
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