Sandy’s Donuts was the creation of Sandy Ostlund and his love for making donuts. In 1983 Sandy lost his job running a trucking company. He was 55 years old and had a difficult time finding a new job. He was becoming very frustrated. A good friend suggested that he open a donut shop. You might find this to be an odd suggestion, but Sandy’s friends and family knew that he loved making donuts. When Sandy was a child, his mother taught him to make donuts in a cast iron pan on a coal-burning stove using her very own buttermilk donut recipe. As an adult he would make them often for his friends who found them delicious.
It so happens that the bakery in West Fargo, where Sandy lived, had closed down and was sitting empty. After some research the idea for Sandy’s Donuts was conceived. He borrowed a little money, bought some equipment, and started making donuts on September 13, 1983. It was an instant hit.
Sandy’s dream was to have a mom and pop style business where he made donuts at night and his wife, Donna, with some help, would sell them during the day. The demand for donuts was incredible and to keep up they quickly had to hire more help. They were so busy that many times they did not even make it home but had to take a nap in the back room in sleeping bags. Their son, Mark, heard about this and decided to leave college and come home to help out with the business.
The three of them made a good team and Sandy’s continued to grow. They moved to a new location just a few blocks away on December 29, 2002. This new location, a former Hardee’s building, gave them twice the space and much needed parking and is now their Flagship Location. At this time Mark took over running the business. Donna retired but Sandy kept on doing what he loved to do. He slowed down but was still an important part of the business. On October 13, 2008, Sandy passed away from complications of a stroke he suffered just a few months earlier. He had still been working every day right up until the stroke.
The story does not end here. Sandy was dearly missed but Mark knew he had to keep his dad’s dream going. He would not be a very popular guy in West Fargo if he let it fail. Over the next few years the business really started to grow, and on September 22, 2014, a second Sandy’s location on Broadway in Fargo was opened. With the addition of this new location, it was shortly realized that the small kitchen in West Fargo where all the donuts were made was not going to be able to keep up with the demand. In 2015 a 2000 sq. foot kitchen addition gave them the needed production space.
Sandy’s Donuts, which started out as a dream after the unfortunate event of a job loss, has become a successful business of over 100 employees, two locations, and the possibility of a third location. Thank you, Sandy, for pursuing your dream and for leaving us this legacy!
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson