In the month since it opened, Campbell’s newest doughnut shop has caused quite a buzz in the community, although not everything is sweet.
The owners of Psycho Donuts intended for the shop to be a fun-filled, wacky place where kids and parents could enjoy unconventional doughnuts in an atmosphere unlike traditional corner doughnut shops.
But the “science experiment gone bad” theme is not resonating with everyone in the community, notably mental health advocates who find doughnuts dubbed “Bipolar” and “Massive Head Trauma” extremely offensive, as well as the straitjacket and padded cell where customers are invited to take pictures.
It’s not their intent to close the shop down, said John Mitchem, president of the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. But advocates want the owners of Psycho Donuts to understand that their business greatly impacts a minority of the community that has been stigmatized for decades, he said.
“People with a mental illness live on average about 25 years less than the rest of us, and to poke fun of people with serious mental illnesses seems to me not only unfortunate, but simply bad and immoral,” Mitchem said. “There’s nothing wrong with making money, but they shouldn’t make it on the backs of ill people.” NAMI and several other local organizations have brought their fight to Psycho Donuts owners Jordan Zweigoron and Kipp Berdiansky. They’ve demanded that the name of the shop, as well as its theme, be changed.
The intent wasn’t to poke fun. It’s a shame that NAMI has misconstrued this.