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Your Village: Is Daylight Donuts closing?

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Have a question about what’s going on in your community? Ask Little Village. Submit your questions through the Your Village feature on our homepage, or email us at editor@littlevillagemag.com.

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

I heard that Daylight Donuts in Iowa City is closing. Please tell me this is just a rumor. Because I don’t think I can go on if it’s really closing for good. – Lydia, Iowa City, via the Your Village feature on LV’s homepage.

Unfortunately, it’s more than just a rumor, but no one should give into donut-related despair, because there’s good news to go along with this bad news. But first, the bad news.

Daylight Donuts is closing its shop at 3560 E Court Street.

“The location that we’ve been fortunate enough to lease for the last eight years is in the process of being sold,” the owners explained in a post on Daylight’s Facebook page. “We also know that we will unfortunately not be part of the new ownership’s future plans. Currently we are looking at May 25th being our last day or as long as our inventory holds out. So there you have it. We are a business in search of a home.”

Scott and Vicki Ward 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.

Tommy and Lucille Day started the Daylight Donut Flour Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1954. “They produced their famous light donut mix each morning and sold it to shops in the afternoon, mostly from the trunk of their car,” according to the company’s site. There were 200 Daylight Donuts shops by the time the Days retired in 1977.

When the Wards opened their Daylight Donuts in 2011, Scott told the Press-Citizen that he had toured 80 donut shops in the Midwest to get ideas for what the Iowa City business should be.

Daylight Dounuts. Thursday, May 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Now, the Wards are working on ideas for the future.

“Since we have to move, it’s time to re-imagine the donut shop,” the Wards wrote on Facebook. “We are looking at this set back as an opportunity to take what we’ve learned in the past eight years and design a new better shop!”

The Wards invited their customers to share their ideas on what a donut shop should be in the comment section of their post. So far, “don’t move away from the east side” is the most common response.

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