NOTE: The above video was originally paired with a 2018 article on Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WGHP) — It’s the end of an era. Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts, known in North Carolina and Virginia for its traveling donut truck, grew quickly over the last eight years. Now, they’re shutting down—at least for now.
Mama Crockett’s owner Frederick Willis posted on the company page Tuesday that the business at 500 5th Street in Lynchburg will close on Mother’s Day, May 8. The company plans to honor its remaining catering commitments, as well as scheduled truck dates through May, before bringing the Mama Crockett’s trucks to a stop as well.
On May 14, the Lynchburg location will host a “Peace Out Homies” yard sale at the store selling what Willis described as “doughnut shop accouterments.”
Willis explained that the business was not forced to shut down. This was a personal decision.
“My brain is fried, and I need a complete and significant break,” Willis said in the video. “I’ve been struggling with mental health issues my entire life. Not a huge deal, but sometimes these things tend to get the better of us and that’s the case here, and it’s not something that’s just going to go away magically any time soon.”
The owner says Mama Crockett’s started as a “cool” idea, not as a business plan, but with the creativity and labor of Willis and the Mama Crockett’s team “it did happen.”
“And then it kept happening,” Willis said. “As a team, fast forward six years, in 2020, we crushed it with two new trucks hitting the road in North Carolina and two trucks in Virginia and our shop on 5th Street, and it was awesome to see our fanbase expand to fill a 5-hour-wide service area, but it all came at a cost and one which I was personally ill-suited to meet.”
At this point, the only thing that is certain is that Mama Crockett’s is winding down to a halt. The future is uncertain.
“Like mama always says, it’s just doughnuts,” Willis said. “Taking a break. I’m going to be back probably in the fall, just me and one truck and we’re going to do it like that for a while. And you’re going to see me when you see me.”
Willis asks the Mama Crockett’s community not to be sad. Fans are invited to leave a happy memory of the business in the comments on the company’s Facebook post. And any hiring managers out there are encouraged to consider hiring any of the “rock stars” who made Mama Crockett’s a success.