Duck Donuts to fill the bill in Johnstown
JOHNSTOWN — A chain of doughnut shops born on the outer banks of North Carolina has opened its first Colorado location in a strip shopping center in Johnstown.
Duck Donuts, which features a signature maple-bacon doughnut and a build-your-own concept, held its grand opening Saturday at 4842 Larimer Parkway in a 1,500-square-foot space that co-owner Brian Moffatt described as a “gray shell.”
“The building had been built five years ago, and as far as we know, we’re the first tenants in this space,” said Moffatt, who owns and operates the new Johnstown franchise along with his wife, Jennifer, and another couple, Tyler and Brittany Maxey.
“I’ve known Tyler for 20 years,” Moffatt said.
Moffatt attended Colorado State University for his undergraduate courses, then enrolled in the University of Northern Colorado, as did the other three. Tyler Maxey then went to medical school in North Carolina, where he first encountered Duck Donuts. Founder Russ DiGilio opened the first locations in 2007 in Duck and Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks. Now headquartered in Pennsylvania, the company has more than 115 locally owned and operated shops in 24 states.
What made the store memorable for Tyler Maxey was that, unlike most other doughnut shops, Duck Donuts allows people to customize their own doughnuts with a variety of toppings. According to its promotional materials, “nobody will think twice if you order a maple frosted with shredded coconut or a lemon frosted with bacon on top.”
“He introduced my family to it,” Moffatt said, “and we thought they were so great that this would be a wonderful opportunity to bring it to Colorado.”
Tyler Maxey had owned a Glass Guru franchise in Greeley and Moffatt had run several organizations, he said, “but this is our first restaurant.”
They checked up on Duck Donuts’ franchising model and just needed capital to take the next step.
“We had some family and friends who are invested in it. They also thought this was a great opportunity and were kind enough to lend us the money,” Moffatt said. “They say don’t go into business with friends and don’t borrow from family — but we did.”
The beach-themed Johnstown store, which employs about 30, also serves doughnut sandwiches, doughnut sundaes and a variety of coffees and other beverages, and has a viewing area where customers can watch their doughnuts being made.
Store manager Lucas Finch said the maple-bacon doughnut is most popular across the chain, but Moffatt checked the sales records over the past four days and said the biggest sellers in Johnstown so far are assortments and build-your-own glazed and chocolate doughnuts.
Will the couples open more Duck Donuts stores in Colorado?
“We do want to make sure we get this one off the ground, but then if it’s possible, we would love to expand, Moffatt said. “My in-laws in Centennial want us to put one down by Park Meadows Mall, and Tyler’s sister-in-law in Fort Collins wants him to put one there.”
In keeping with the chain’s name and theme — including a duck mascot named Ollie and its “Quack Gives Back” charitable efforts — maybe that Fort Collins location should be on Drake Road.