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Daylight Donuts is closing, and Donutland is returning to Iowa City


Bags of dounut holes ready to go at Daylight Dounuts. Thursday, May 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

After almost 11 years helping Iowa Citians start their days with delicious carbohydrates, Daylight Donuts will close its door for the final time on Sunday, owners Scott and Vicki Ward announced in a Facebook post.

“We would like to extend a humble thank you to all of our loyal customers these past eleven years,” the Wards said. “It was our privilege that you allowed us to share in your daily lives and special occasions. We have made many close acquaintances and friendships that won’t be forgotten.”

“We would also like to thank our current and former co-workers who without their sacrifices of early mornings and late nights, none of this would have been possible.”

The Wards opened Daylight Donuts on E Court Street in July 2011. It was the fourth Iowa location for Daylight. There are almost 1,000 Daylight Donuts shops in 28 states, all of which are all independently owned. What the shops have in common are ingredients and recipes from the Daylight Donut Flour Company, which Tommy and Lucille Day started in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1954.

Daylight Donuts closed for six months in 2019, when the Wards were unable to renew their lease on the E Court Street store. The donut shop reopened at its current location, 1681 S 1st Ave, in November of that year.

Although Daylight is closing its 1st Avenue storefront, it won’t be without donuts for long. The Wards said “we have entered into an agreement to sell the donut shop” to Donutland.

Donutland has been a part of the fabric of life in Cedar Rapids since the 1960s. At its peak in the’80s, there were four Donutland locations in Cedar Rapids and one in Marion. All but one of those storefronts closed between the 1987 and 2005. Currently, the only remaining Donutland is at 4307 Center Point Road NE, which opened in 1971, although Donutland donuts and cinnamon rolls are also available at Lu’s Deli in Cedar Rapids, Uptown Coffee Company in Marion and Press Coffee Company in Coralville. A Donutland will open at its former Williams Boulevard location in southwest Cedar Rapids by early April.

It’s been more than a decade since there was a Donutland in Iowa City, after the storefront on Hwy 1 West, next to the BP Delimart, closed. There was also one on the Coralville strip, but that location closed in 2004.

The new Donutland location is scheduled to open in Daylight Donuts’ space on Tuesday, March 1.

The Wards closed their Facebook post by asking their customers to give Donutland “all of your support as they reintroduce their brand back into the Iowa City market.”

“We wish Donutland all the best!!” they said.


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