More than 4,700 people from 39 states traveled and completed the Butler County Donut Trail during its first year, resulting in an economic impact of nearly $1 million for the county.

5 things to know about Duck Donuts

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The North Carolina-based Duck Donuts specializes in warm, made-to-order doughnuts. Customers may choose from a variety of topping combinations, including traditional flavors such as vanilla icing with sprinkles and more adventurous creations such as maple icing with bacon.

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Here are five things to know about the doughnut destination, which currently has a location at 1200 Brown St. in Dayton.

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1. It offers step-by-step “choose it yourself” culinary creativity

A box of six donuts at Duck Donuts (clockwise from top): Coconut Island Bliss, S’Mores, Blueberry Pancake, Bacon in the Sun, Peanut Butter Paradise and Sunrise with blackberry drizzle. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Photo: For the AJC

Duck Donuts experiences start with a signature vanilla cake doughnut, made fresh when ordered. Customers then choose to “Coat It!” with options like cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, glazed, icing or bare and then “Top It!” with sprinkles, graham cracker, peanuts, shredded coconut, Oreo crumbles and more. 

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Finally, customers “Drizzle It!” with hot fudge, marshmallow, salted caramel, raspberry or blackberry. If you don’t want to customize it yourself, they offer a host of pre-created flavor combos that makes ordering much simpler.

The family-friendly stores reflect the franchise’s iconic beach theme and offer seating inside and outside, plus a viewing area where customers can watch their sweet treats being made. 

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2. It offers more than just doughnuts

The Coconut Island Bliss donut at Duck Donuts includes a mountain of coconut flakes and peanut pieces. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Photo: For the AJC

Hungry for more than just a doughnut? Duck Donuts also offers doughnut sundaes featuring a warm doughnut with your choice of coating, topped with a scoop of Breyers Ice Cream and finished with a flavored drizzle. 

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There’s also breakfast sandwiches, like the OBX Donut Breakfast Sandwich, which allows customers to add egg, cheese, sausage or bacon, and then envelop it between a fresh, sliced doughnut. Those looking to dine on an extra-indulgent option may cap off the entire creation off with some glaze and bacon crumbles. 

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Duck Donuts also serves tea and its own signature coffee blends — Riptide Roast, Light House Blend and Sunset Pier Decaf, with new special seasonal flavors changing throughout the year.

3. The “Duck” in its name is a reference to where it was founded

Duck Donuts opened their doors for a preview event Thursday, April 12. Duck Donuts opens April 13 in Deerfield Towne Center in Mason. The donut shop offers fresh made-to-order donuts with a variety of toppings. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Nick Graham

Duck Donuts was founded in 2006 by Russ DiGilio in the northern Outer Banks seaside town of Duck, N.C. in an attempt to solve a family vacation problem. 

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“Our family wanted a place to buy warm, delicious, made-to-order doughnuts, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to start our own,” DiGilio said in a release.

4. It continues to expand

Duck Donuts opens its first Warren County location today, April 13, in Deerfield Twp.’s Deerfield Towne Center. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

DiGilio was continuously approached about franchise opportunities by fans who asked for a Duck Donuts in their community. The first franchise opened in Williamsburg, Va., in 2013. There are now 58 open franchise locations and more than 130 additional contracts in 23 states.

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A location in the Polaris Center in suburban Columbus opened in December 2016. It was followed last year by locations near the University of Dayton and in Dublin. The fourth Ohio location for Duck Donuts opened in Warren County in April. 

Each Duck Donuts location brings between 30 and 50 new jobs to the community it serves. 

5. Duck Donuts gives back

Duck Donuts has partnered with Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, a non-profit organization that provides education, comfort and hope through stuffed ducks, medical play and therapeutic tools.

The national sponsorship ensures that children undergoing treatment for cancer can have access to their own Chemo Duck, a stuffed yellow duck dressed in blue hospital scrubs with a chemotherapy port, to help them learn what to expect during treatment and have a friend to share the experience.