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    Leslie Wilson and Annie Harlow, the dream team behind Louisville's Hi-Five Doughnuts, want to take over the world – starting with a new store.

    It might sound silly, but after speaking to Wilson and Harlow for only a few minutes, I felt myself becoming a believer. It's rare to meet people who have the chutzpah to actually go all-in chasing their dream. And it’s even more rare to meet people who have not only chased their dream but also ended up getting exactly what they wanted.

    The Ladies of the Morning have done just that with the opening of their first storefront at 1011 E. Main Street. The idea of an "eccentric doughnut shop" came to Harlow back when she was working as a grant writer. Grant writing paid the bills, she says, but it didn't bring her joy. "You know that song 'Working for the Weekend'?" she asks. "That was me."

    Harlow's main question concerning her dream doughnut shop was "why hasn't somebody already done this?" She got the ball rolling with just one phone call to her college roommate Wilson, who moved to LA post-college and worked regularly on food trucks. Wilson thought it was a great idea and offered to move back to her hometown of Louisville and make it happen.


    Image: Hi-Five Doughnuts

    "It's so organic how it all happened," says Harlow. One thing the duo credits for their success? "The Louisville community has been amazing," says Wilson. "Without [the community], none of this would've been possible."

    What many of you probably don’t know is that Hi-Five Doughnuts (named such because Louisville is believed by many to be the birthplace of the high five—seriously, Google it) started as a private space at Bourbon's Bistro on Frankfort Ave. In 2014, the private space evolved into what brought Hi-Five so much of its notoriety – the food truck. Known as Shelby, the truck (named after Julia Roberts' character in Steel Magnolias) could be spotted Downtown, at the Flea Off Market, in the east end at Norton Commons – anywhere with a demand for doughnuts…which turns out is anywhere Shelby parks.

    As word of Hi-Five’s fried dough masterpieces spread, demand increased. Wilson recalls several times when she and Harlow had to close the truck windows early because they ran out of dough. The Ladies would post that day's destination on their Instagram, drive there and find crowds of people waiting to get their doughnut fix. Since demand proved consistent, the duo decided it was time to move on to the next phase of world domination: the Hi-Five Doughnuts storefront.


    Image: Hi-Five Doughnuts

    Opening by the end of this week, Hi-Five is sure to see its share of excited, eager customers. Not only are guests to the store sure to get a few (or a few dozen) gooey, piping-hot doughnuts, Harlow and Wilson are known for their eccentric sense of style and creativity – that's apparent as soon as you reach for the rolling-pin-shaped handle on the front door. The space is as quirky and colorful as its owners. A giant doughnut mural adorns the wall of the front seating area. Behind the counter is the menu, listing every single one of your many, many options. As many of you know, at Hi-Five, you get to pick your glaze and your topping(s) – or, if you'd prefer, you can just order one of their classics, like the Kentucky Fried Buttermilk Chicken Donut or the Bourbon Caramel with Bacon (yes, I'm drooling as I write this).


    Image: Hi-Five Doughnuts

    Down a hall is the kitchen. It's fun watching Harlow, Wilson and new addition to the team Dylan Sortman learn how to use all of their new equipment. "Look at this fryer!" Harlow exclaims. "It's huge!" The air is full of flour and sugar and the smell of frying dough. Heaven, basically.

    Talking with them was a treat; the two have a rapid-fire rapport with each other that you usually only see between married couples or people who have known each other for decades, as they have. It makes sense that this strong relationship has resulted in such a successful business.

    Future plans for Hi-Five? Operating the store, of course. And good news: Shelby can still be seen cruising around Louisville. One of Harlow's biggest cheerleaders – her husband, Jason – will be manning the helm from now on. Also, Harlow and Wilson have found a new niche. "Weddings," Wilson says. Hi-Five was featured as a popular catering option in Louisville Magazine’s latest issue of Louisville Bride.

    Visiting Hi-Five Doughnuts new home in Butchertown is a must, but if you’ve ever visited Shelby, you won’t stay away for long. There’s no doubt that you, too, will be convinced that these women – and their doughnuts – will take over the world.


    Image: Hi-Five Doughnuts

    Keep up to date with Hi-Five Doughnuts on their website, and follow them on: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

    Cover Image: Hi-Five Doughnuts

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