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Joe’s Doughs to open brick-and-mortar store in May and want your help with a big mural

Joe’s Doughs is welcoming you to NoDa

For those of you have been waiting for a regular spot to get your donut fix, Joe Pepe is opening his first brick and mortar donut shop, Joe’s Doughs, at the end of May. It has been a pop up since 2014 and with strong roots in the NoDa community it was only natural for him to find space there.

The location at 1721 N. Davidson Street is adjacent to ABARI, the new game bar.

Photo 2 Credit Justin Garton

Pepe and his business partner Justin Garton recognize the Parkwood and N. Davidson intersection as the gateway to NoDa. (Technically it’s Optimist Park.)

An 840 sq. ft. cement wall is the backdrop for the parking lot. They saw it as the perfect opportunity to welcome residents and visitors to the area, promote art and contribute to their community. In their eyes, that wall was a blank canvas waiting for a beautiful piece of artwork.

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Pepe and Garton were not deterred when the painting of a mural was not in their start-up business costs. They decided to get creative and fundraise through Indiegogo, an online site to support entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to launch innovative ideas.

To date, they have raised more than 25 percent of their goal. Joe’s Doughs is offering incentives to people who donate money for the mural. A $25 pledge gets you a t-shirt. If you have lots of money to donate, get a donut named after yourself for $500 or a year of free donuts for $1,000.

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Garton said, “We are not just asking the community for money. We are asking them to be involved and connected with the development of NoDa, even in its simplest form, donuts and art.”

The money raised will pay for paint supplies, scissor lift rental and artists’ time. Charlotte’s own mural makers, Matt Hooker and Matt Moore, jumped at the chance to paint a “Welcome to NoDa” mural.

Moore said, “For the past five years, I’ve eyeballed that wall because of its size, openness and shape.”

The prominent location and high volume of traffic (more than 12,000 cars per day) make it ideal for artwork. Hooker and Moore’s interpretation of NoDa’s welcome will be in the form of imagination, daydreaming and inspiration.

Moore said, “This is about art without politics or signage. It is art for the sake of art.”

They both agree that it will be cool.

“If someone sees this and is inspired to paint or try something they’ve never tried before, then we’ve done our job,” said Hooker.

“The Matts” hope to start the mural this summer.

Photos: Rémy Thurston, Justin Garton