Duck Donuts, the North Carolina-based chain that is in the midst of a massive cross-country expansion, is bringing its popular made-to-order doughnuts and quack puns to Hauppauge, the company’s first foray into New York State.
The much-awaited opening on Veterans Memorial Highway, across the street from Hauppauge High School, is scheduled for Saturday morning at 9 a.m., with the introductory doughnut rolling off the automated fryer moments after the first customer places an order.
Part of the experience is watching the making of the vanilla flavored cake doughnuts ($2.25 each) and seeing them topped in a range of coatings, toppings and drizzles, from chocolate and vanilla to more ambitious flavors that include lemon icing, shredded coconut, crumbled graham crackers, copped bacon and broken Oreos. Here, there are no rules.
The quacking doesn't stop there. The menu also includes doughnuts topped with ice cream sundaes (add $5.75) and a menu of breakfast sandwiches, which here means doughnuts sliced and layered with eggs, cheese and bacon or sausage ($3.75-$4.75).
Founded in Duck, North Carolina, on the state’s Outer Banks, Duck Donuts is the brainchild of Russ DiGilio, who says he opened the shop because his family wanted a place to buy warm doughnuts without having to go on vacation.
The Hauppauge store, owned by Veronica and Anthony Bencivenga, came to be in similar fashion. The couple visited a Duck Donuts while on vacation on the Outer Banks in 2009. “We were immediately hooked,” Veronica Bencivenga said.
“We, of course, became loyal followers as well,” Veronica Bencivenga, who lives nearby in Nesconset, said. “As far as Long Island being the first, I think it was just that I was the first person from New York to express interest and pursue it all the way to signing.”
Bencivenga, who will serve as majority partner, with her husband in the minority, gave up a career as a director in a health care consulting practice to enter the doughnut business. She has plans to open five more stores across Suffolk in quick succession. As part of her franchising deal with Duck Donuts, she has rights to open locations on nearly all of Suffolk County.
The Hauppauge opening brings the company’s footprint to 66 stores around the country, with 100 more in the works.
Duck Donuts will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. The store is located inside Hauppauge Plaza.
586 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge; 631-656-8400, duckdonuts.com