Same doughnuts but more hours, events and ‘hippie’ from new owners

For Andrea Bucey-Tikkanen and Tom Tikkanen – two former corporate executives who bought the Hudson Peace, Love and Little Donuts franchise recently – the opportunity to own a small business together brings out their more creative, aka “hippie,” side.

“I like to tell people we bought the place for the peace and love part, and learned about the doughnuts,” the energetic Bucey-Tikkanen said with a laugh.

Bucey-Tikkanen and her husband are enjoying the opportunity to “learn about each other’s strengths and talents,” she said. “Things we didn’t know about each other even though we have been married for 28 years,” as they work together at the business, located at 51 S. Main St.

And the Hudsonsites are relishing the opportunity to add their backgrounds in marketing, operations and sales to the small business. The couple bought the doughnut franchise in September and closed it for about 20 days. During that time, they said, they rearranged and renovated the space, adding some colorful cutouts on the walls and brought in what they called a little more of “a colorful, hippie vibe.” They also learned about doughnut-making.

“We were fortunate to have one employee stay on with us, and she taught us all about the doughnuts,” said Bucey-Tikkanen.

The new owners are also excited about adding to the business.

“Beginning in March, we will be opening at 7 a.m.,” she said. “If you are a salesperson and you want to bring doughnuts to a client, you need to bring them to that client by 8 a.m., so we have to open early to enable customers to do that.”

Prior to COVID-19, Peace, Love and Little Donuts opened early, Bucey-Tikkanen explained, but had been opening at 8 a.m. since the pandemic.

“We really hope the early hours will increase our business and be well-received by our customers,” she said.

Another new opportunity will be for customers to host after-hours parties at the store.

“You can do a birthday party where kids can enjoy a little do-it-yourself doughnut-making. This is something everyone will enjoy. And for adults, it offers a chance to show your creative side while enjoying some food and fun,” according to Bucey-Tikkanen.

She is also planning on having some kind of “celebrity doughnut-making” events.

“We might have the mayors of two towns come in and create doughnuts and then judge whose are better or more creative,” she said. “We want to do things to bring people in, and make coming to Peace, Love and Little Doughnuts a really fun experience.”

But as for the doughnuts themselves, they will stay the same.

“We figured out there are about 30 different flavor combinations, and we are pretty much keeping those the same,” said Bucey-Tikkanen. “People love the doughnuts, and we want to continue to provide those flavor combinations they love.”

Funkadelic doughnuts like blueberry cheesecake, banana split and those with cereal toppings, candy toppings, peanut butter and even bacon highlight the menu at Peace, Love and Little Donuts. And then there are the “far out” frosted ones and more traditional sugar, glazed and powdered doughnuts.  

“Everyone will find a donut they love at Peace, Love and Little Donuts,” said Bucey-Tikkanen.

She is also pleased with the takeout business the franchise is doing, saying “we do a lot of Door Dash orders, that is a big part of our business.”

As for the transition from the corporate world to small business owner, Bucey-Tikkanen said one major difference is that “you cannot hide in your office.”

“You are working as long as there are customers in line, and you can’t email and say ‘I’ll get back to you,’” she said. “And the other thing is the responsibility for the business’s success rests solely on you, well, on us.” ∞

Photo: Hudson residents Tom Tikkanen and Andrea Bucey-Tikkanen are mixing it up at Peace, Love and Little Donuts as the shop’s new owners. Photo submitted.