South Charlotte

Matthews doughnut shop offers farm-to-table food

Printed on the wall at the Matthews Your Mom’s Donuts shop, along with a listing of where all the ingredients in the scratch-made doughnuts come from, is the shop’s mission.

Owners Benjamin and Courtney Frye say their products all are farm-to-table foods.

It is fitting that local-farm products are key ingredients: There are dairy and eggs in the yeast doughnuts, which are fried in leaf lard from pasture-raised hogs.

The Fryes met while working to get farm produce and livestock to local chefs.

“A chef told me there was someone else doing what I was doing,” Benjamin said. “So I called her up and asked if we could meet.”

Courtney said she was dubious at first, but her mother convinced her to at least meet Benjamin. The two decided to join forces, and their business flourished alongside their romance.

“We combined bank accounts before we’d even moved in together,” said Courtney. “It was a bit unusual.”

Benjamin, 30, and Courtney, 28, share a passion for farming and a culinary background, but the routes they took to their collaboration are very different.

Courtney grew up in Florida riding horses. Her work with horses took her to Pennsylvania and eventually to Charlotte after her high school graduation. She eventually got a job running the bakery at Earth Fare in Rock Hill, where she made doughnuts among other baked goods.

While she was working at Earth Fare, Courtney, a volunteer with a horse rescue organization, visited a homestead farm to assess its suitability for adopting a horse. She ended up living and working on the farm.

Benjamin grew up in Charlotte. He attended Myers Park High School and Camden Military School in South Carolina, from which he graduated in 2002. He took a variety of courses and jobs before pursuing a culinary degree and Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales University.

This is not the first culinary venture for the young couple, who welcomed daughter Violet in 2012 and will add twins to the family in December. They first tried raising livestock and making sheep-milk ice cream, but they had to liquidate and come up with Plan B when the farm they were renting in Concord was found to have a mold problem.

The two bought a house in Matthews and brainstormed what they could do next to combine their culinary backgrounds with their passion for farming and using local and sustainable ingredients.

“We knew we wanted it to fill a need and to be something we could do on our own,” Courtney said.

That need, they decided, was doughnuts.

“Everything is done by hand using the best possible ingredients,” said Benjamin.

Benjamin should know, since he is the one whose hands are making doughnuts. He works throughout the night to make 15-20 dozen on weekdays and 45-50 dozen on the weekends.

The doughnuts cost $3.50 each, with reduced prices for buying them by the half-dozen or dozen.

The Fryes began selling their doughnuts through a delivery service, then opened the Monroe Road store in October 2013.

Yukari and Dan Corbett, who just bought a house in Indian Trail, are happy they did.

“We have crisscrossed the country sampling doughnuts,” Dan Corbett, 62, said, “and these are the very best.”

Your Mom’s Donuts is at 11025 Monroe Road in Matthews. Details: www.yourmomsdonuts.com.

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