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The City Journals

All the ducks in a row at the new Duck Donuts in South Jordan

Jan 27, 2020 11:32AM ● By Jordan Hafford

Duck Donuts employees enjoying their new jobs as doughnut artists (Jordan Hafford/City Journals)

By Jordan Hafford | [email protected]

If you’re like most Utahns, you are just now finding out that there is an actual city called Duck in North Carolina, and you are about to have a taste of it, too. 

Duck Donuts, a family-started business conceived in Duck, North Carolina, by a man named Russ DiGilio, is a unique chain of doughnut shops spread out across the nation, most heavily on the East Coast. 

South Jordan (10352 River Heights Drive) is one of those “lucky duck” locations. It’s the only one in Utah. 

The shop not only offers a variety of signature doughnuts but an assortment of customized combinations of a person’s choosing: hot, fresh and ready to be created right in front of the customer. 

“I lived in North Carolina, and Jake vacationed there, so we had been introduced to Duck Donuts a few years ago,” said Duck Donuts co-owner John Dunford. “We started talking about the idea of a Duck Donuts franchise, and we have been excited from this very first conversation about the opportunity to introduce Duck Donuts to Utah.”

The owners of the Duck Donut franchising group in Utah include Jake Samuelson, Sean Bingham, Justin Bingham and Dunford. 

The business has a simple, yet unique concept. All their doughnuts start as a fresh, warm, made-to-order vanilla cake doughnut. Then, each is custom-made to the customer’s preference. There are no premade or inventories doughnuts in the shop. 

“Duck Donuts is a fun brand that highlights our family-friendly origins in Duck, North Carolina,” Dunford said Dunford. “We strive to make every customer experience fun and friendly, while providing the best doughnuts in Utah.” 

The first store opened in the city of Duck in 2007.

“We came opening weekend because even though there are always crowds at places like this when they first open, we knew there was probably a good reason for all the fuss,” said South Jordan resident McKay Faasenburg. “My kids have been dying for it to open, and we weren’t disappointed!” 

While there are currently no other Duck Donuts in Utah, there are  plans to expand into several locations over the next two to three years. The initial response to the South Jordan store has been overwhelming, and the owners seem eager for the opportunity to bring the experience to more Utahns. 

In addition to doughnuts, the shop also offers coffee, espresso, doughnut sundaes, a doughnut breakfast sandwich, milkshakes and frozen beverages. 

“It has been so fun to hear of others who have experienced Duck Donuts either from living or vacationing back east and have been excited to hear that Duck Donuts has come to Utah,” Dunford said. “It’s important to us that we are creating a great experience for our customers but also to be bringing new job opportunities to the state.”