Daylight Donuts saw a new dawn on Thursday morning.
“Everything is fresher,” said owner Scott Ward. “All of our raised products are a little bigger and we’re partnering with Java House Coffee.”
Just over nine months after the beloved doughnut shop closed on E. Court St. a location it called home for roughly eight years, Feb. 27 marked the first sunrise the business has seen since then.
Now located at 1681 S. 1st Ave., the former home of the Sun Cafe, Ward is getting settled into his new space. It’s been a tumultuous road. For a long time, he wasn’t sure if he’d re-open at all; but by noon on Thursday he’d seen maybe a hundred faces, old and new, come through the doors.
The new space is slightly smaller than Daylight Donuts’ previous home. But, with a larger kitchen and a number of new employees, Ward expects his business will soon be making more doughnuts than ever before. This is in part because of a recent agreement he’s made with Java House owner Tara Cronbaugh.
According to Cronbaugh, all Java House locations will soon be adding Daylight Donuts to their array of pastries, just as Daylight Donuts will serve Java House coffee. A partnership that formed in part as a result of the doughnut shop’s new location four doors down from the cafe’s 1st Ave. spot.
“This one will start (serving doughnuts) in a week or so,” Cronbaugh said. “We look forward to building a nice relationship.”
Following that, as Ward gets his feet under him and learns to keep up with the expected new demand, his doughnuts will be served in all Java House locations, including the North Liberty cafe.
Ward expects the crowds to be busier on Friday for the official grand opening. Though the drive-thru set up in the new space won’t open for awhile, Ward is back at work behind the counter, baking doughnuts for eager customers.
Currently, the shop is open from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Once fully operational in the next few weeks the closing time will push back to 6 p.m. Around that same time, the drive-thru will open and an espresso machine will be installed for Java House lattes and the like.
“It’s been a ton of work,” Ward reflected, “and of course you never feel like it’s 100% ready.”
Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Press-Citizen. Reach him at [email protected] or (319)-688-4247, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet