COLUMBIA — After selling pastries for more than a month, Daylight Donuts will officially stage a grand opening today to introduce new menu items and a drive-through service.
Located downtown between Gumby's and Papa John's on Broadway, the doughnut shop has been selling a variety of cake and raised doughnuts since early October. The three-level glass case near the entrance also displays turnovers, bear claws and apple fritters.
“We’re one of the only places in town where you can get fresh donuts, ” said Sohail Patel, son of owner Shabbir Patel.
With today's grand opening, the menu will expand to include roasted chicken and soft drinks. The shop also will begin exhibiting local art and will hold regular poetry reading.
Drive-through service will begin Wednesday, said Zacki Patel, the general manager.
"We wanted to do something different,” he said, “but we wanted to stay in the coffee-shop category. We’re still working out the kinks and adding more product. I really want more variety.”
The Patel family decided to open Daylight Donuts when they realized nothing like it existed downtown. The only other doughnut shop in Columbia is Dixie Cream Donuts off East Nifong Boulevard.
The Patels began looking for the ideal location last summer and said they finally found one with perfect “foot traffic." They target downtown workers in the mornings, students in the afternoon and churchgoers on Sundays.
“They have the best apple fritters in town, and it’s on my way to work,” customer David Mehr said.
Daylight Donuts opens at 6 a.m. seven days a week.