Glaze owner Jim Eakle


Eat Donuts, Live Life

Story and photos by Gary Bégin

EAST WENATCHEE - Pity the fool among us who has never bitten into a blueberry fritter from Glaze. Owner/operator Jim Eakle, provider of these tasty morsels of fried dough, fillings and fruit, wants to keep selling these treats. He also wants to sell chocolate cakes, Bavarian cream-filled chocolate donuts, cinnamon bread and a dozen other varieties of baked goods from his substantial vault of taste on steroids.

In order for Jim to keep making and selling anything, he needs your partnership. Liken it to a sponsor of an FFA market pig. Kid wins, you win, buyer and eater wins most. We are all happy and filled with the requisite sweetness and light as befits enablers of the community good.

Jim has battled for many months now, about 10, to fight and keep his business alive through the COVID-19 crisis, now in its second year. Sadly, the Glaze in Wenatchee was already closed due to other reasons than pandemic (see below).

Now Jim needs to salvage the East Wenatchee Glaze at 595 Grant Road. There just aren’t enough cops, fireman and other civil servants to keep him going. It’s up to the general donut and coffee loving public …will the donut-circle be unbroken?

The Wenatchee Business Journal wants to partner with Jim at Glaze and as many other small businesses as we can to keep them afloat. We sat down with Jim recently to discuss the future of his shop going into 2021.

Wenatchee Business Journal: How long have you owned the Glaze pair of donut shops?

Glaze: Glaze East Wenatchee was opened in May 2012. Glaze Wenatchee opened in April of 2017. We closed the Wenatchee location  January,1 2020. At the time we only had 3-4 employees there. A few came to the East side location, the others all had other employment lined up. 

WBJ: Was that closure a direct result of COVID-19?

Glaze: No, the closure was not a result of COVID. There were several issues regarding the Wenatchee location. First off was location. We knew this going in, of course, but hoped for more support from the residents at the Riverside Apartments location. Second, we couldn't find anyone responsible that really wanted to run the location.  It ended up just being too hard, with too much waste. In addition, we felt the quality of our product was not being represented in the manner that Glaze customers expect.

WBJ: Were sales down from 2019 ?

Glaze: Sales in 2019 were down 11 percent from the previous year at the Wenatchee location. Glaze East is down 60 percent in sales from 2019 compared to 2020.

WBJ: Has your take-out, online, phone orders, standing orders, etc., made up for losses from little or no walk-in traffic in your remaining shop?

Glaze: The short answer is no. Initially we opted for curbside pick-up. We would come to your car and complete your order. This works, but makes everything slower. We opened the doors as soon as we felt we could do so safely. Glaze has signed on with Door Dash & Dashing Drivers delivery services, and also offers in-house delivery if available.

WBJ: Is the future bright, despite recent losses?

Glaze: I certainly don't want to come off as pessimistic, but it's hard to say. Unfortunately Glaze, as well as many other small businesses are at the whim of government regulation.  It is so difficult to run a business when the rules are changed arbitrarily. This cost all businesses unnecessary, unforeseen costs and stress. Food prices are up more than ever, all business licenses, taxes, inspections, fees are all still due. No local or state office is interested in helping small businesses. Luckily, we have amazing customers who supported us through 2020. 

WBJ: Did you have to layoff East Wenatchee staff?

Glaze: Yes. Initially we had to lay off the entire staff, about 20 people. We continued to serve the remaining business accounts we could, (with the owners working for free), but that was minimal. We brought approximately half the staff back with the other half moving on to other opportunities. 

WBJ: Were you able to get a CARES loan/grant?

Glaze: Yes, we did receive a CARES Act loan, as well as two grants from local supporters.  I am not a fan of the CARES Act loan program. 

WBJ: What is your opinion of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest rules?

Glaze: I believe Governor Inslee has no idea what he is doing.  Punishing small businesses while letting major corporations operate with impunity.  The hypocrisy is amazing. I have nothing positive to say about Governor Inslee.

The East Wenatchee Glaze donut shop is open from 4:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. seven days a week. Call 509-888-4529 to order ahead of time for pick-up at the store.



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