North Lime Coffee and Donuts hosts NCAA-inspired tournament



Aspen Gage

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For the Big Blue Nation, March Madness quickly turned to March “sadness” with UK’s loss to Indiana University.

While some UK fans will now watch tournament games purely for upsets, there is another way to win out on a bracket.

North Lime Coffee and Donuts is hosting a March Madness bracket, but instead of basketball teams, the competitors are their in-house donuts. Aaron Martin, shift manager at the North Lime Street location, said the company decided it would be an interesting marketing technique, created practically on a whim.

“It was around March Madness season and we just met and came up with a list of like 40 of the most popular donuts that we do, and the one’s that have some fun stories around them,” Martin said. “We did this last year and it got a lot of really good buzz, so we started making it a kind of yearly event.”

At the beginning of March, North Lime Coffee and Donuts handed out brackets, in similar fashion to the NCAA Tournament, with donut names where there would usually be teams. The donuts even had seeds, with the most popular and frequently sold donuts picked as higher seeds.  

At the Clays Mill location, employees saw an influx in brackets turned in from last year, and a boost in business.

“There were a lot of people lined up to turn the brackets in,” said Koby Miller, a chef at the Clays Mill location. “They were excited when we put it on our social media. People were coming in and sitting down to fill them out, they were taking it very seriously.”

Between the women’s NCAA Tournament and Spring Break for some Lexington area schools, donuts were flying off the counter. Whether this was because of the bracket challenge or not is unclear, according to Miller.

“It depends on the pairing of the day,” Miller said. “(One day) it was maple bacon and blueberry pancake, and those brought in a lot of people.”

Anyone wanting to participate in the bracket can visit North Lime Coffee and Donuts, at either location, and purchase one of the two donuts that have been matched-up for that day. Whichever donut sells the most wins the day and moves on in the bracket. At the end, whoever has the most accurate bracket wins a $100 Norht Lime Coffee and Donuts gift card.

Martin said some of the most popular flavors are maple bacon, key lime pie and French toast.

“Those are always ones we put in high seeds because they’re ones that always sell really well,” Martin said. “We might retire donuts from it year to year, but we’ll keep doing it.”