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The story began for the now international OMG! Decadent Donuts when former chef and restaurateur, David Moore was looking for an outlet for his entrepreneurial and creative mind.  David had been a successful restaurateur until his award-winning restaurant ‘Drift ‘in Brisbane, Australia, was spectacularly and catastrophically lost in the 2011 floods.


Whilst being fully insured, David’s floating riverside business was deliberately sunk to protect government owned assets of bridges and the like.  The deliberate sinking voided David’s flood insurance and a long and sad story followed including him suffering from PTSD, which over time impacted his ability to continue working, thus losing a second restaurant in 2014.


Many people helped David along his professional and personal path pre and post-flood.  As a result, expressing gratitude in the form of ‘paying it forward’ became firmly entrenched in his DNA.


The catastrophic loss of his business and livelihood didn’t stop David’s creativity and one day whilst enjoying a regular cinnamon donut, he wondered what his donut would taste like with a different flavoured sugar. His curious and creative brain kicked in and he started playing with dehydrating whole fruits and vegetables, mixing them in unique combinations and blending them with spices and sugar.  The flavours he created were amazing.


Having spent his whole career in the hospitality industry and being anaphylactic to some foods himself and with his partner Andrew unable to eat gluten or dairy, David was aware of the lack in offerings to the vegan, gluten-free and allergy communities.  He worked with a food technologist to develop a donut mix that was free from gluten, dairy, egg, wheat, yeast, nuts and sulphites and 100% natural.  He then established a simple market stall business at the suburban Milton farmers markets in Brisbane, making and selling his unique donuts dusted in his bespoke range of handcrafted sugars.


Gross takings on that first day was a conservative $96.  However the feedback on the taste and texture of the donuts from customers was more than encouraging.  Customers could not believe that these donuts with uniquely flavoured sugars were so fantastic.  Instinctively David knew he was on to something.


The name OMG! then came about as a direct result of when customers would bite into one of the uniquely sugared donuts and exclaim, with a mouth full of donut, “OMG, this is SO good!”.

Those with or without dietary requirements were universally shocked at how good they tasted.  To this day, “Better than a ‘normal’ donut” is a phrase many customers use to describe them.


David and his partner Andrew began operating OMG! Decadent Donuts more earnestly as a ‘side hustle’ to their regular day jobs of business coach (David) and financial planner (Andrew), trading in farmers markets throughout Southeast Queensland.  They built up a solid customer following and were soon earning terrific extra coin at markets, festivals, and events. They knew they had a sensational new product, and loved the freedom this business gave them.


Enter Di O’Reilly and her husband Steve Morris.  Di has a long history in marketing and public relations and Steve is a respected commercial lawyer.  Di and David had been friends and colleagues for many years having worked together in various incarnations and had formed a great mutual respect.


Di tried a donut when she ran into David at a farmers’ market – blown away with the taste and texture, she invited David and Andrew to come to dinner and to also have a free pick of her marketing brain.  Turns out the pair picked Steve’s brains too as he entered the conversation to give them friendly advice on what he felt would be the best ways to structure a business to allow it to grow if they so wanted.


Whilst David and Andrew knew they had created a great small business, they realised with the knowledge Di and Steve brought to the table they had the opportunity to take the business beyond what they ever thought imaginable.

Like types attract and it turned out that all four had similar core values about kindness, compassion, being helpful and supportive of others and that, at the end of the day, it is people who matter most.


After brainstorming what their collective goals for the business might be and having already mastered the production of an inclusive product able to be eaten by just about anyone, all four were adamant that they wanted a business model that could be equally inclusive. They wanted a ‘compassionate, kind’ business, one that was based on family values.


The foursome joined up and the company was incorporated in August 2018.  They worked on developing a business model that would help and support people and allow them to better balance both work and life.  They felt that affordability for people to be able to get into the business was key to ensure that everyday families and individuals could be involved without needing to massively add to their mortgage, sell a kidney or dip into their super.  They settled on a licensed business model.


This all happened in the time before COVID-19, but with extraordinary serendipity, they also wanted a business that could be flexible and could operate without the need for a 5 year fixed lease and expensive shop fit-out, that could be flexible enough that if ‘life’ should happen, the individual business owner could expand or contract their business without being a slave to rent and wages.


With a cost of under $50,000 per licence for a turn-key business, including all equipment, start-up stock and training, they formed an affordable business opportunity.  For most of the independent business owners in the OMG! network, that initial investment has been well and truly returned within a few short months of trading.


Under the license, each OMG! business owner is allocated a geographical region large enough for plenty of options for ways to trade and earn; be they farmers markets, community events, school fetes, sporting carnivals, festivals, catering, deliveries, pop-ups or short to long term leases. To be able to expand, if they wish, to have multiple set-ups at multiple locations simultaneously.


The foursome also agreed they wanted a business model that would allow an independent business owner to start small as a side hustle and grow their own business over time, one that was sustainable without having to take those huge risks of long leases, bank guarantees and fit outs.


They envisaged an owner operator model that was flexible enough to be able to stop and start through life’s journey.  They especially didn’t want to be controlling of their licensees, instead they wanted their licensees to be able to set their own KPIs and realise their own definitions of success.


David said “The business from our independent business owners’ perspective is about making and selling these wonderful hot fresh donuts that people in their community can enjoy.  But from our perspective as the directors of the parent group, it is all about those licensees, helping and supporting them.  We are more of a business development company in that regard.  Our licensees are in business for themselves but not by themselves, we give them a great deal of help and support.”


The licence model means that no royalties, marketing, or other fees are funnelled back to the HQ in Brisbane. The licensee keeps 100% of what they earn and that stays within their local communities.  So how does the OMG! head office earn an income?  Essentially, it acts as a wholesaler to the licensee for the donut mix and sugars. David said “We wanted a model whereby our financial success would be entirely dependent on our licensees’ success. If they order donut mix, we get a clip of that. Whatever they earn, they keep. We are therefore very motivated to help them do well.”


The business is a juggernaut, “In our first year, to get the best price on the donut mix for our licensees, all four directors had to sign a personal guarantee we would order a minimum 4 tonnes per annum.  We all remember that day and our racing hearts, shaking hands and sweaty palms when we signed the contract.  Last year we went through 80 tonnes of donut mix and this year we are on track to increase that to over 100 tonne, which is over 3 million donuts”, David said.


The OMG! Directors also created their own definitions of success “Of course we want to be financially successful, who doesn’t, but the definition of success is actually achieving what you set out to achieve.  We set out to help as many people as possible start their own successful business and these donuts are our catalyst. What really floats our boat is when our licensees achieve what they set out to achieve.”


What’s next?  The goal is to make OMG! the #1 Australian plant-based and gluten-free donut company in the country and to welcome a further 50 independent business owners throughout Australia.  A master licensee has been appointed in New Zealand which launched in June 2024, the aim is to make OMG! the #1 national donut company there as well.


After that – bring on the world.

To enquire about becoming an independent owner of OMG! Decadent Donuts in Australia, please click here.

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