Duck, Duck, Donut

Appears in the May 2023 issue.

By Peter Gianopulos

Donuts from Duck Donuts

Shuffle into your typical doughnut shop, and chances are, you’re at the mercy of someone else’s tastes and predilections. The chief doughnut maker controls all. In the mood for something that screams strawberries? Sorry, it’s a blueberry morning. Hankering for a cookies-cream number or something sprinkled with Oreo bits. Not today. It’s National Snickerdoodle Day.

Enter Duck Donuts, a build-your-own-doughnut concept, launching its first Naperville location this spring. Thankfully, the chain’s name was inspired by its place of origin—Duck, North Carolina—rather than any kitschy attempt to make doughnuts that resemble webbed feet or Donald Duck’s iconic bill. What’s unique is the sheer variety of choices. Visitors start with a base vanilla doughnut, then can glaze, powder, sprinkle, crumb, Oreo, and drizzle them to their heart’s content. Pick any combination: perhaps a fruity lemon glaze with coconut sprinkles, or a cocoa bomb: chocolate glaze, sprinkles, chocolate icing. Or guests can choose from preselected combos, from the French toast (maple icing, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar) to the Bacon in the Sun (maple icing, chopped bacon, salted caramel drizzle).

The Naperville location, owned by hometown doughnut lover Kevon Gardner, offers a full array of accompaniments, including coffee, ice cream, milkshakes, plus one treat: What may be the area’s first vanilla doughnut breakfast sandwich, which—you guessed it—can be customized in a number of ways, including gilding it with maple syrup and chopped bacon.


Photo courtesy of Duck Donuts