The McGill Art of Wellness club found itself drowning in pastries on Feb. 5 after accidentally ordering 2,400 Krispy Kreme doughnuts instead of 200 for their fundraising sale in McConnell Engineering. They sold out in under two hours.
Lina Chen, founder and president of the organization, realized the miscommunication when she received a $1,000 bill for what she believed was an order for 200 doughnuts. Upon consulting the receipt, she realized that the order form was by the dozen instead of for individual donuts.
“Krispy Kreme […] thinks in dozens, and […] we think in single doughnuts,” Chen said.
Although the Krispy Kreme Delivery & Returns Policy does not clarify the customer’s rights if they make a mistake in their order, it does provide for refunds, minus transportation costs and reductions in the doughnuts’ value.
“You must send off the Products within 14 days of telling us you wish to end the contract,” the Krispy Kreme Delivery & Returns Policy reads.
After learning from the factory’s manager that, if she did not take the order, all the doughnuts would be discarded, Chen decided to proceed with the delivery. According to Chen, Krispy Kreme donated 80 of the 200 boxes after learning that the order was an accident.
“Krispy Kreme was really generous throughout this whole process, and they were extremely nice about this,” Chen said.
Asli Ercem, vice president events of the club, was taken aback by the club’s sudden, substantial investment in baked goods. Under the impression that they had more doughnuts than they knew what to do with, the club gave away free boxes to the McGill building staff who helped them unload the packed minivan.
“[I thought] ‘what the hell are we going to do with all of these doughnuts?’” Ercem said. “We literally thought it would be impossible to sell them [….] The one worker I gave [doughnuts] to received it warmly, saying ‘I’m going to tell everybody in the building to go buy doughnuts.’”
Ercem credits their success to her Facebook post advertising the organization’s predicament in the McGill Free and For Sale Facebook group, which rallied the McGill community. In the end, they appreciated it as an unexpected marketing opportunity.
“We had the McGill building staff come by. We even had a professor come by saying there was a faculty email circulating around,” Ercem said. “The law faculty ordered 10 boxes from us [….] We got e-transfers, we got American dollars, we were taking everything [….] A lot of people were like ‘let’s go help this club out!’ [which goes to show that], when we mobilize together, [even just] to buy these doughnuts, we are really powerful.”
McGill Art of Wellness hosts events for students to creatively express themselves and engage with the therapeutic effects of visual arts, including events like a free ‘Paint Night’ in collaboration with Stronger than Stigma, another student club which is dedicated to raising mental health awareness. Art of Wellness will use its profits from the doughnut sale to purchase art supplies for its next event.
“[Art of Wellness events are a way] to focus and de-stress and completely forget about everything else for a few hours, so, then, I just wanted to spread that feeling to McGill and maybe people who have never done art before,” Chen said.
Overall, Chen looks back on the fundraiser as a learning opportunity.
“Read every form you send,” Chen said. “You can make a mistake, learn from it, and sometimes great things you don’t expect will happen.”