Project D founders (l-r) Matt Bond, Jacob Watts, Max Poynton holding a pink sign that says 'Project D'

Source: Project D

Project D founders (l-r) Matt Bond, Jacob Watts, Max Poynton

Derby-based doughnut specialist Project D is set to turbocharge its growth after smashing its crowdfunding target.

The business raised £524,000 from 849 investors on crowdfunding platform CrowdCube – 31% higher than the £400,000 it was originally looking for.

The funds will be used to help with Project D’s rapid expansion with product innovation, retail expansion, digital marketing, e-commerce, and new hires, among the investment priorities.

Max Poynton, co-founder and marketing director of Project D, said the team was delighted at not only hitting, but “smashing” the firm’s crowdfunding goal.

“Every penny raised above our original funding target will be channelled into turbocharging our expansion, paving the way for a rapid rollout of new store openings,” he said.

A person in a black Project D t-shirt with a hairnet and mask on, glazing doughnuts

Source: Project D

Project D currently makes two million doughnuts per year

While not revealing the locations of the planned new Project D stores, Max said that three stores were scheduled to be opened over the next six months.

“We have clear and ambitious expansion plans for the firm,” he said. “We have set a target of quadrupling our turnover to around £12m per annum within the next three years. And we see much of this increase coming through trade at our retail stores.

“UK consumer demand for doughnuts remains at an all-time high, and we see few signs of that tailing off anytime soon.”

Glaze-tonbury festival

The news comes as Project D reveals it is to host a doughnut festival in summer 2024, affectionately dubbed Glaze-tonbury (although the official name has yet to be unveiled).

“It’s the first time that the UK will have celebrated all things doughnut in a festival solely dedicated to the nation’s favourite sweet treat,” added Poynton. “But it’s what many of our loyal customers and social media followers have been asking for.”

The festival, inspired by similar events in the US and Australia, will include doughnut tasting stations, a doughnut eating competition, doughnut-inspired fancy dress, and doughnut masterclasses with Project D’s own creative director Matt Bond.

There will also be food and refreshment outlets featuring many of Project D’s joint collaborations, including a 3,000-calorie doughnut burger that hit the headlines last year.

Those who invested at least £50 as part of the crowdfunding campaign will be eligible to receive a free ticket. Other doughnut fans are urged to keep an eye on Project D’s website for future announcements, including the date and venue.