5 things to know about Minnesota's first Duck Donuts

Stacy Brooks

Stacy Brooks

“When I bit into that warm, flavorful donut, I had one thought: We need a dozen.”

That’s how Justin Butler describes his first visit to Duck Donuts, a chain that originated in Duck, North Carolina in 2006. After that first bite in Kissimmee, Florida, Butler and his family sought out Duck Donuts wherever they traveled: Orlando, D.C., Pennsylvania, and more. Eventually, Butler decided to make the leap and open Minnesota’s first Duck Donuts franchise in Woodbury (7455 Currell Blvd.).

The Woodbury location is the 77th for Duck Donuts, and Minnesota is its 17th state. Doors open Saturday, December 8 at 8 a.m. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about Minnesota’s first Duck Donuts.

1. Each donut is made to order.
The biggest difference between your standard donut shop and Duck Donuts? There’s no bakery case. The vanilla cake donuts are made fresh to order (each one takes about two minutes) and then each is topped to your specifications. “You can get your favorite flavor at 8:30 in the morning or 6:30 at night,” Butler says.

Pricing is the same no matter what you add, so load on the rainbow sprinkles, bacon, and marshmallow drizzle. You can order a single donut, a half dozen, or a dozen, and there are also catering options for weddings and corporate events.

2. The options are pretty much limitless.
Start off with a coating: glazed, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or a lineup of flavored icings including chocolate, blueberry, vanilla, lemon, maple, strawberry, and peanut butter. Next up are the toppings: sprinkles, bacon, peanuts, coconut, Oreo crumbles, and graham cracker crumbs. Finally, drizzle it with hot fudge, blackberry, raspberry, salted caramel, or marshmallow, or any of the icing flavors.

“We stand out for the sheer amount of combinations,” says Butler. “I did the calculations once, I don’t remember the exact number, but there’s a lot. Every time you come in, you can try something new.”

In addition to the standard ingredients, there are special seasonal options—mint icing for Christmas, Key lime icing in the spring, a streusel topping in the fall. We experimented with a chocolate iced donut sprinkled with coconut and drizzled with raspberry—a pretty awesome combo.

Stacy Brooks

Stacy Brooks

3. Feeling overwhelmed? They’ll help you out.
If you’re paralyzed in the face of so many choices, there’s a helpful menu of tried-and-true donuts, most with monikers that nod to the chain’s beach town origins. There’s Bacon in the Sun: maple icing, bacon, and salted caramel. Blueberry Pancake combines blueberry icing with powdered sugar and a maple drizzle, and the S’mores is topped with chocolate icing, graham cracker crumbs, and marshmallow drizzle.

Our favorite was The Boardwalk, a funnel cake-inspired creation that uses a glazed donut as the base for Oreo crumbles, powdered sugar, and vanilla drizzle. Butler’s two favorites are actually pretty straightforward: a maple-iced donut with bacon—the first flavor he tried—and peanut butter icing with chocolate drizzle. “It’s like a Reese’s.”

4. And you can’t go wrong with the basics.
We’re not going to lie, Duck Donuts skew toward the sugar-bomb side of the dessert spectrum (particularly if you opt for the strawberry or blueberry icings). If you prefer your sweets on the somewhat nuanced side, you can’t go wrong with a simple toss in cinnamon sugar—it’s like a supersized version of a State Fair mini donut, available all year long.

5. You can think outside the donut box.
If you really want to go all out, you can create your own donut sundae by adding a scoop of ice cream and as many toppings as you desire. Another option is the OBX Breakfast Sandwich. Sure, you can order your bacon, egg, and cheese on an English muffin, but you’re at a donut shop.

“Here’s the real touch,” explains Butler. “Once you have your sausage, egg, and cheese [on a donut], you have them drizzle on maple, sprinkle on some bacon, and then add hot sauce. It’s delicious—that’s really the only way I can describe it.”

Duck Donuts
7455 Currell Blvd., Woodbury