Case study – Planet Doughnut

Case study – Planet Doughnut

About Planet Doughnut 

Artisan bakery Planet Doughnut has enjoyed meteoric growth since it began as a kitchen-table start-up by Shrewsbury husband and wife team Duncan and Samantha McGregor in 2017. 

From those early beginnings, the Planet Doughnut brand is now a household name across the country – and has even supplied its products for VIP hospitality guests at Beyonce’s London shows in 2023. 

The Planet Doughnut brand itself is now a wholesale operation – with a decision being taken this year to rebrand the retail arm to Dipp’d to focus on new sweet offerings such as gourmet cookies, brownies and bespoke doughnuts with a weekly revolving flavour menu. 

That said, Duncan’s ambitions for the Planet Doughnut brand itself remain as ambitious as ever. 

“Planet Doughnut itself is growing rapidly in the wholesale sector and we aim to be the number one premium doughnut supplier in the UK. 

“We are working with Greene King, central Co-Op, Bidfood, Compass group, Chester Zoo, independent food wholesaler Castell Howell and many others to supply our doughnuts nationwide.” 

How the Marches Growth Hub helped  

Planet Doughnut has received tailored business support from the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire since its earliest days. 

Duncan and Samantha took part in a start-up programme delivered by Good2Great, covering all the essential information needed to get a business off the ground and to help it grow. The couple have also received one-to-one business support from growth hub consultants, including during the difficult period of the pandemic, as well as mentoring, workshops and IP support. 

Growth hub advisers have also helped the business secure tenancies on premises, and £114,800 from the ERDF-supported Marches Business Investment Grant for a new bakery, which helped create the equivalent of 10.5 new full time jobs. 

When the exponential growth in production highlighted weaknesses in the firm’s administrative functions, business adviser Roland Ballard put Planet Doughnut in touch with Made Smarter West Midlands. 

Duncan had acknowledged that doing things such as invoicing, stock takes and order processing separately was inefficient, but he didn’t know how to streamline everything.  

Roland, working with Barry Jones, a digital transformation specialist at Made Smarter West Midlands for The Marches, and Nasar Jockey, then of WMG at the University of Warwick, took a good look at Planet Doughnut’s operations and recommended a Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) system to make sure every part of the business was communicating digitally with the rest in one seamless operation. 

Duncan chose to adopt the Cybake system, which is in use in bakeries around the world. Made Smarter also provided £11,000 of match funding towards the cost of the software, and created a digital roadmap to explain how Cybake could help Planet Doughnut’s future growth. 

More recently, Planet Doughnut has benefited from three hours of support sessions and thanks to growth hub support Duncan worked with consultants Wellmeadow through the Covid-19 Business Support programme. The 12 hours support has helped him develop a business plan that is resilient and taken him through a variety of grant funding options.  


As a result of the help received from both the Marches Growth Hub Shropshire, Planet Doughnut is thriving. 

Duncan said: “All of the support we have received from the Marches Growth Hub and the business support hub at Shropshire Council has made a huge difference and is the reason we have been able to grow at such a rate. 

“The help from Made Smarter was really significant – while I knew I needed something that would streamline our operations I had no idea where to start, and having experts presenting options that they knew would suit our specific business was key. The match-funding for the Cybake software also made it less of a financial risk, so we were able to go ahead quickly. 

“I would advise everyone who runs an SME to take a look at what help is available – it really can make the difference between your company just surviving, and really flying.” 

Duncan added: “The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire has been great for supporting me literally from the get-go. They have always been easy to contact and work with and the help and time they have given me has been instrumental in obtaining grant funding and driving the business forward.” 

“I would particularly like to thank Emma Chapman and Anna Sadler at the Shropshire Growth Hub for their support, which has been fantastic. They are a superb resource which every business in Shropshire could benefit from tapping into.” 

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