Sugar Shack: The Sweet Taste of Giving
Sugar Shack celebrates their five-year anniversary by donating to ACT of Alexandria
Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography Courtesy of Sugar Shack
Rainbow sprinkles, chocolate chips, seasonal fresh fruits, and cookie crumbles… For former Virginia State Delegate and Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka, these are some of the details that comprise his day as an owner of Sugar Shack Donuts, now that he’s traded in his buttoned-up and polished look of suit and tie for a tee-shirt emblazoned with a yellow donut. Having spent years in both local and state politics, Krupicka couldn’t have chosen a more drastic career change, but once he sank his teeth into that sweet, pillowy dough and found out more about the company mission of Sugar Shack, he knew that he’d found a new calling.
“I got to know Sugar Shack’s founders and their amazing donuts in Richmond, and their business values and product were clearly a great fit for Alexandria,” says Krupicka, whose heart truly lies in serving the community he loves, in as many ways as he can. While taking ownership in a brand that was clearly gaining popularity was a wise business move, it wasn’t strictly about business. “At the end of the day, even if you’ve sold just one donut, you can be pretty sure that you’ve made someone smile. That feeling is hard to beat. You can see that joy in people’s faces when they look at the donut case and decide what to choose; and for a moment, it’s like being a kid again. It’s fun to sell a product that makes people happy.”
Sugar Shack embraces social values that are important to me personally and to our neighbors,
such as inclusiveness, giving back, and fair pay.”
Rob Krupicka, Owner
Making people happy has been part of his day for the past five years of owning Sugar Shack’s Alexandria location. Selling every kind of donut imaginable, from those whose off-the-wall toppings and glazes bring out your inner child to more sophisticated flavor profiles, there are a few ingredients in Sugar Shack’s donuts that you can’t buy in any store or source from any supplier—and that was the very thing that most spoke to Krupicka in deciding to jump out of politics and into the sweet world of donuts. “Sugar Shack embraces social values that are important to me personally and to our neighbors, such as inclusiveness, giving back, and fair pay.”
They definitely put their money where their mouth is, getting involved with local community organizations and giving back financially to help support them. “I can look back over these past five years and see that we have been able to make a positive difference in a lot of ways,” says Krupicka, who is now the proud owner of three additional locations in D.C., Arlington, and Leesburg. “We provide good jobs, and our stores have done fundraisers for several charities and been active in community events. Helping Chef José Andrés feed student marchers in D.C. was really special, and supporting Spring2ACTion and ACT for Alexandria’s Day of Giving each year has been a highlight.”
ACT for Alexandria and its mission of investing in local nonprofits to help them innovate, grow, and address critical needs in the City of Alexandria is a particular passion for Krupicka, so when the fifth anniversary of Sugar Shack’s Alexandria location rolled around in January 2020, he could think of no better way to celebrate hitting the five-year mark than to donate 5 cents from every donut sold during the month to ACT. “ACT has made a unique contribution to Alexandria’s philanthropic community by supporting smart, strategic solutions to serve our most at-risk neighbors, and they help build capacity for nonprofits delivering services that work,” says Krupicka. “ACT is so important because it helps keep our community focused and strategically efficient, and their initiatives on racial equity and on early childhood care and education are missions that are particularly important to me.”
ACT couldn’t be more honored by the support. “We were thrilled when Rob told us that Sugar Shack would be celebrating their five-year anniversary by donating 5 cents from every donut to ACT during the month of January,” says Brandi Yee, Chief Program Officer for ACT for Alexandria. “Rob and Sugar Shack have always been wonderful ACT supporters. From giving in-kind donut donations to informing customers about ACT and contributing generous donations, support from small businesses like Sugar Shack is vital for the growth and sustainability of the nonprofit community, so we certainly appreciate all that they do. We can’t wait to partner with them this April fro our ten-year anniversary of Spring2ACTion.” Clearly, there’s nothing sweeter than giving back.
Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee is located at 804 North Henry Street, Alexandria, VA.
For more information, visit www.sugarshackdmv.com.
For more information on ACT for Alexandria, visit www.actforalexandria.org