Duck Donuts – the donut shop that originated in the Outer Banks and became an instant East Coast sensation – has announced it will open a store at 702 Cross Hill Road in the Whole Foods-anchored Cross Hill Market shopping center.
Founder Russ DiGilio opened the first two Duck Donuts in Kitty Hawk in 2007. A Pennsylvania native, DiGilio grew up in Pennsylvania but summered in the Outer Banks and realized during his visits that the area could use a good donut shop.
“What started out as a whim, a far-fetched idea, a fun project, about 10 years ago, has turned into an exciting adventure,” DiGilio says in a statement on the Duck Donuts website, duckdonuts.com. “After months of investigation, recipe trials and some collaborative workings with local merchants, my partner at the time, Robin Griffith, and I developed the answer: Duck Donuts.”
At Duck Donuts every order is made at time of purchase. All of the vanilla cake donuts are made with five ingredients: wheat and corn flour, soybean oil, nonfat dry milk, egg yolks and beta carotene. When the donut comes out of the deep fryer (which is filled with a soy-based shortening), customers select the toppings and coatings — such as coconut or peanut butter — and the donut is immediately dipped in them. A made-to-order box of a dozen averages $14.
Duck Donuts now operates 40 locations in 10 states along the East Coast with plans to open an additional 15 locations this year. An opening date has not been set yet for the Columbia location but construction has already begun. The store will be next to Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe.