Scout’s Doughnuts is all about community, connection, and cronuts

Scout’s Donuts in Greenville, SC started in 2022 as a cronut business popping up and selling wholesale at coffee shops. Now the local couple behind the business has plans to expand.


JP + Ryland Rainsford | Photo by GVLtoday

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The alarm going off at 4 a.m. may feel early to you, but for Ryland and JP Rainsford, it’s time to wake up and make the doughnuts.

Danielle here. I had the pleasure of waking up before the sun to catch the Scout’s Doughnuts team in action, preparing dozens of fresh cronuts (read: croissant doughnuts) to sell at coffee shops and stores across Greenville.

Plus, I learned how Scout’s came to be: From a business idea to developing the perfect product via lots of research + trial and error — but more importantly, how this pastry is a vessel for serving others and building community connections.

Where did you find the inspiration to start Scout’s Doughnuts?

JP: We prayed for the Lord to give us a business where we could pour into others and had a median of love and connection. Ryland was running with friends and they all lamented that they had nowhere to take their kids for doughnuts. After the sixth or seventh time, over several years, Ryland came home and said, “JP, the guys keep saying there’s no place for them to go for doughnut runs with their kids… I can’t shake the feeling we need something like that.”

Ryland: We knew we wanted to build our own business, but the question was, “What do we build?” We had been looking for an idea and doughnuts seemed to have the most potential, so we spent a year doing our homework, talking to people from all over the place, and every conversation we had validated that there was a huge opportunity for us here.

What has the process been like developing the recipes?

Ryland: We did a lot of research. When we first started thinking about doughnuts, we realized many people have a very particular doughnut nostalgia. “This place in my hometown, this mom-and-pop shop by my grandparents house is where we’d always go.” We didn’t have any of that. There was only one doughnut that stood out in our minds as memorable, and it was a croissant cronut that we had at a wedding. We said, “That’s the one we have to do.”

I started researching, “Where did it come from?” and “Who invented it?” I found a recipe and started making it at home, tweaking it, feeling it out. Croissant making, which is essentially what this is, is very technical,nuanced, and intricate.

JP: As far as toppings, flavors, and seasons, we want to be youthful, fun, exploratory, and bold. It’s a joint effort and everyone’s involved. It’s kind of a hot mess sometimes.

If we’re all in here as a team we’ll have brainstorming sessions and just shout out ideas that I write down. “Gingerbread doughnut” was tossed out for Christmas and “Key lime pie” was mentioned as one to save for summer. We have a doc where we just collect everything. We know how our dough works, so we know what it can hold, what will look good, and most importantly, what will taste good. We tweak it from there.

Where does the name “Scout’s” come from?

JP: Scout’s is named after Scout Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s our favorite book, and we feel Scout Finch embodies who we want Scout’s Doughnuts to be. She is loyal. She’s a friend. She asks questions. She’s always learning. She isn’t afraid to be like, “I think that’s wrong,” and kind of stand up for herself in a youthful way, but to also questions social norms around her. I love her as a character and how she sees people. She grows so much through the novel.

We want to be so much more than doughnuts. We want to see people. We want to know people. We want to know their story and for them to know they’re loved so they feel accepted and safe. We think Scout does a great job of that, and while she doesn’t always do it perfectly, we love that, too.

That’s where the tag line “Sweeter Together” comes from. All of these characters are living in this tiny little house and they’re living this really hard reality together and because of that they’re all better for it.

Ryland: It comes from a belief that the most lasting and meaningful growth we experience is from our relationships and connections to other people. That was part of the criteria we wanted in a business. We want to cultivate growth in people’s lives and in the lives of our community and city as a whole by fostering connection.

What’s next for Scout’s?

JP: Right now we’re at 1700 E. North St., the former Pizza Purists location, and this will stay our production and kitchen space. Next door, the Quinn Laundromat is being split and we will expand to 1,000 sqft of that space [for you] to sit down and enjoy your coffee and doughnuts with your friends and family.

Ryland: We also don’t have any plans to discontinue our wholesale (read: being able to get Scout’s at different shops across town). Greenville has so many awesome spots and we want to keep offering doughnuts at people’s favorite places.

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