Monday, October 3, 2022

Say ‘happy anniversary’ when you go in Duck Donuts in Williamsburg Thursday and see what happens

Duck Donuts might be very busy Thursday as customers drop by for free doughnuts. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Amy Williams)
Duck Donuts might be very busy Thursday as customers drop by for free doughnuts. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Amy Williams)

How’s this for a deal? If you say two words on Thursday you can get a free doughnut.

Duck Donuts is celebrating its 5-year anniversary Thursday, Oct. 4 on Monticello Avenue and will offer doughnut fans deals and giveaways throughout the day.

Customers who say “happy anniversary” to the cashier will get a free cinnamon sugar doughnut.

It’s a way to say thank you to the community for a half-decade of support, said owner Amy Williams.

Williams opened the store in 2013 with her husband as franchise owners.

She said the store was the first Duck Donuts store to be franchised- and she had to beg the corporate office to allow her to set up a store in Williamsburg.

“We thought it’d do really well in Williamsburg and it has,” Williams said. “I think people like the made-to-order concept, that they can get them fresh and served straight off the fryer.”

Five years later, Duck Donuts has more than 70 franchised locations across 26 states, according to their corporate office.

[Editor’s note: Read on for more anniversary specials]

Customers can try a variety of doughnuts at Duck Donuts. (WYDaily/Courtesy Amy Williams)
Customers can try a variety of doughnuts at Duck Donuts. (WYDaily/Courtesy Amy Williams)

Versatile food

Williams said it’s no surprise Duck Donuts has thrived because of the popularity of doughnuts in the U.S. In a crowded marketplace, it’s been necessary for the company to differentiate themselves from other doughnut vendors.

“Our biggest advantage is that they’re served warm and fresh,” she said.

Duck Donuts gives customers the choice to customize their doughnuts in a variety of ways.

They can pick out an icing, such as vanilla or chocolate, a topping, such as sprinkles or bacon, and drizzles including hot fudge and caramel.

Even with all the options, Williams said many of her customers have made up their mind before they even enter the store.

“We have a lot of regulars that come in and get the same thing,” she said. “Some come in every day.”

Brigetta Routh is a pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Virginia in Newport News. She worked for the Williamsburg Lodge for more than four years where she taught her team how to prepare sweets like breakfast pastries and doughnuts.

She said there are probably a few reasons why doughnuts are so popular, such as the sights, sounds and smells of watching them be prepared in a bakery. Also, most people simply think they taste great – and at any time of the day.

“For people who like breakfast at any time it’s a great to be able to have as breakfast thing and it’s great to have as a snack in the afternoon, and people can even splurge on them as a dessert, especially for a place like Duck Donuts with all those toppings,” Routh said. “It’s great being able to use it as a versatile food.”

All about the experience

The ribbon cutting ceremony for Duck Donuts'opening in 2013. Owner Amy Williams stands second from the left. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Amy Williams)
The ribbon cutting ceremony for Duck Donuts’opening in 2013. Owner Amy Williams stands second from the left. (WYDaily/ Courtesy Amy Williams)

Williams said they’ve also expanded their coffee program in order to give customers one more reason to stop in.

“We started with four flavors of lattes and now we have over 20,” she said. “They consider themselves a doughnut shop but the coffee has definitely become important.”

Routh said knowing the market is essential for the owners of a doughnut shop, especially when they’re up against national doughnut chains like Dunkin’ Donuts and Crispy Crème.

“For Duck Donuts, it’s all about the experience,” Routh said.

Anniversary promotions

In addition to the free doughnut for saying, “happy anniversary,” here are other promotions customers can look forward to when they enter Duck Donuts Thursday:

  • The first 25 customers will receive free travel mugs that can be refilled for $1 through the end of October.
  • Every 25th customer will receive a gift certificate for two doughnuts and a coffee.
  • Customers will be entered into a raffle drawing for gift certificates and retail merchandise. A grand prize winner will receive free donuts for a year.

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