by Melissa LaScaleia
Clayton Matthews, the owner of Peace, Love, and Little Donuts, passed away suddenly on June 19, 2022, from a hemorrhagic stroke. Left to cherish his memory are his mother and father, Kay and Mickey Matthews who were co-owners of the donut shop as well.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Clayton attended James Madison University on a football scholarship and graduated in 2006 with a business degree. While in college, he had a car accident that caused a spinal cord injury and left him paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair for life. Clayton continued to pursue his passions, however, and after graduating, coached the football team at James Madison for the next ten years.
In 2016, he accepted a coaching position at Coastal Carolina University and moved to the beach to be closer to his parents. Kay and Mickey had recently decided to make Myrtle Beach home in their retirement years and thought it would be a fun family venture to open and operate Peace, Love, and Little Donuts together, as a family in the Market Common Community. In 2017, Clayton left coaching to help run the business full-time.
“Clayton always over-obligated us,” Kay says with a laugh. “He never said no to any project. Once we had someone who wanted 100 dozen donuts at 7 am, so we’d make donuts all night long. He was just a generous person and wanted people to be happy.”
“I remember one of the first weddings we did together. The father of the bride was the dean of Horry Georgetown Technical College. They had multiple food stations at the wedding, but our line was longer than any other because it was a novelty, and because Clayton made it so much fun.”
“Weddings and parties were our favorite things to do together; Clayton was always the life of the party. It was a great run and a great business. And now that he’s gone, I realize how much I relied on him for his input, and for all the work he put in that I didn’t understand or even realize at the time. And I’m so grateful.”
“It didn’t take me long to realize it would be difficult in many ways for me to do this without him. We’ve decided to close our doors at the end of August and move on to other ventures. We’d like to thank all our customers for the opportunity to get to know them over the years, and to serve them a little dose of Peace, Love, and Donuts.”