It all started because Simon Amato was hungry.
Amato, a senior economics major, was house sitting for a friend who was on vacation. He got hungry and found a package of donuts in the freezer and ate one before letting it thaw.
“These were really shitty donuts,” Amato said, “[but] we could make these gourmet [with] good quality ingredients … and then put glazing on them and create this new dessert.”
He pitched the idea to his BMGT461M: Entrepreneurship class last spring as part of a class assignment, and it caught the attention of Holly Wilson, a senior studio art major. Both Amato and Wilson are minoring in innovation and entrepreneurship.
After hearing the idea, Wilson, who loves to bake, said she wanted to help.
Amato and Wilson sold more than $1,000 worth of donuts during five weeks of the class and decided that FroDoh — named for the team’s product of frozen donut holes — could be a successful product.
“The special thing about [FroDoh] is the fact that it is a frozen treat that you can eat straight out of the freezer,” Amato said. The donut holes can be left in the freezer for six months, he said.
During a class centered on developing business ideas, Amato and Wilson met senior business management and marketing major Alexandra Cimino, who now handles FroDoh’s marketing.
After that, the team decided to take their donut holes to the shelves and pitched the product to the Maryland Food Co-op, located in Stamp Student Union, because of its kitchen they can pay to use.
“It’s a nice symbiotic relationship,” Amato said.
Co-op manager Peter Myers, a senior economics major, said the Co-Op is “always about new student-run businesses that [are] trying to get off the ground. Ultimately, we’re just people here. We want to help our friends out.”
FroDoh is focused on the growth of its business, but the group wants to make sure they are as efficient as possible by using wind and solar energy to create their products, Amato said.
While the group aims to profit from their product, they want to use it for social entrepreneurship efforts. However, they are still deciding the details.
“It’s not business for profit, but business for change,” Amato said.
FroDoh’s three donut flavors — blueberry, banana nut and s’mores — are vegetarian, and the team is developing a vegan donut and a red velvet flavor, which hits shelves Monday. Since its official launch in the Co-op two weeks ago, FroDoh has sold more than 200 boxes of donuts and will keep going.
“The future is frozen,” the group members said.