Peace Corps Volunteer Sidney Slover helped start a donut production and distribution company to raise money for youth projects in Honduras
"My name is Sidney Slover, I am a Peace Corps volunteer in the area of business in Las Vegas, and have dedicated my service to promote income generating activities. Working with the local youth group (La Casa de la Juventud), formed to create and run projects for local youth, I was requested by the members to develop an income generating activity that would provide money for their youth projects. We knew that the project had to be something that could be made using local resources and not too complex. Hondurans have a noticeable sweet tooth and love bread products, donuts just seemed a like a logical direction, so one day, before a meeting I made a batch of glazed, yeast raised donuts. As the members of the youth group tried the finished product, a general consensus was made that donuts were the way to go to raise money."
"The first step was aesthetics and image; we needed a name and a logo. After much deliberating, we chose the name by a strange set of happenings. We had to cancel out the obvious choices (Dunkin Donuts was suggested) and go with something creative and original. We wanted something with alliteration and took Deca from decadent, wanting our name and slogan to be Deca Donas (“Que Decadente!” or, “So Decadent!”). Upon presentation the reaction by the Hondurans was clear, they were confused and did not like the name. Apparently, the common meaning here for decadent is similar to “almost rotten,” or “one foot in the grave.” Obviously, this name would not work! Just then, one of the members of the group spoke up and suggested casually “de calidad,” or “from quality. Using the first part of DE CAlidad, DECA, and using “De Calidad” as our slogan, our name was decided. Our logo came about from a similar cooperation. One of the group members is a skilled artist and created several sketches of possible logos. After a vote, one was chosen, and using a scan of the sketch as a guideline I formed the current logo with graphic designing software."
"Like in any business, the first few months were the most difficult. Tasks included getting all the necessary equipment, creating the right connections with suppliers, training the workers, setting up the books, finding the best way to sell, etc.. The first week, a group from the weekend school interned in production and sales to satisfy requirements for their class, and Deca Donas was finally producing. One of the women from this class stayed on as an employee and within two weeks we had added on two more women in production."
"In the future, we hope to expand our product line (cinnamon rolls, éclairs, banana bread, etc.) as well as integrating other small producer’s products into our distribution chain so that they have the capacity to sell their products in larger markets. For instance, there is a local jelly company that has the facilities to produce and sell their strawberry and blackberry jelly in large volumes, yet do not have the know how to reach the market efficiently. Deca Donas hopes to be a full service business resource in the community, helping develop a higher quality product, more efficiency, and better run administration for small producer groups."
"In order to achieve any of these goals, we need to expand our product to distribute on a regional level, and eventually on the national stage. Attaining the project grant listed on the Peace Corps website is the first step toward this goal. It will enable us to purchase industrial equipment so we will be set up to produce a higher volume of our product at a consistent quality. The total amount needed to fulfill this project grant and thereby receive the money is $9,650. We are hoping to rapidly fund this through donations (100% tax-deductible) by individuals and companies. This project is more than just a small business endeavor deep in the mountains of Honduras. It is a model of inspiration for the entire country and elsewhere. For everyone who do not believe the expansion of original ideas possible. We create jobs. We will be providing money to youth projects. Most importantly, this project serves as a teaching model and support for those with similar interests. This is our main goal. Please help us in any way that you can, whether by donating at the Peace Corps website and/or by spreading the word of this project to other organizations and individuals who may find this project of interest." Read more.