Customers show support to Mama Crockett’s owner after announcing closure due to mental health

The brick-and-mortar location on 5th & Clay Streets will close May 8

10 News spoke to customers in Lynchburg after hearing Mama Crockett's Cider Donuts is closing down next month.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Customers rushed to Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts Wednesday after hearing the news.

“I was sad to hear that they were closing,” said customer Simona Howell.

“We’re very sad,” said Hannah Beasley, another customer.

“I felt so sad that they were closing,” said customer Daniella Lopez.

Owner Fredrick Willis made the announcement Tuesday on social media.

“Sunday, May 8, Mother’s Day will be the last day of business for Mama Crockett’s world headquarters,” said Willis.

The brick-and-mortar headquarters, located on the corner of Fifth and Clay Streets in Lynchburg, is a popular donut destination.

The business expanded with two food trucks in Virginia and two trucks in North Carolina.

During the nine-minute video, Willis explained the decision.

“We weren’t forced to shut down. I made this decision myself.”

Unlike the donuts, Willis is not sugarcoating the reason for taking a break after eight years of business.

“I’ve been struggling with mental health issues my entire life. Not a huge deal, but sometimes these things tend to get the better of us,” Willis said.

Customers say self-care is important and support Willis.

“I think that’s brave of him to really step back from something that was taking a toll,” said Beasley.

“It’s very understanding, and he’s a priority in his life and that’s okay,” said Lopez.

“I’m proud of him for being able to step back and take care of that,” said Howell.

Willis says they’re keeping previously scheduled caterings and events, but will stop taking booking requests.

They’ll also hold a yard sale on May 14.

Willis says it’s not the end of the business, but he needs a break right now.

“I’m going to be back, probably in the Fall, just me and one truck; and we’re going to do it like that for a while. You’re going to see me when you see me, and that’s how it’s going to be,” said Willis.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.