Hundreds of Long Islanders over the weekend took up Omar Athar’s offer of a free doughnut.
Athar opened his first Duck Donuts in Garden City Park Saturday morning. Earlier in the week, he announced every customer at weekend-long grand opening would score a free doughnut.
Within an hour of the doors initial opening, over 100 customers had waited in line out in the cold and consumed the free hot cinnamon sugar-covered doughnuts.
“Cinnamon sugar goes a long way, even a plain doughnut goes a long way,” Athar, 31, of Garden City, said. “It has flavor because its so fresh, it blows your mind.”
Once they were finally inside, the Duck Donuts customers witnessed the entire doughnut-making process unfold behind panes of plastic. An employee pours the batter, a machine forms the circles which dive into oil, they emerge a golden brown and toppers douse them with icing, sprinkles and delicious drizzles.
Customers walked out carrying two, three and even four boxes of hot and fresh doughnuts.
Inside those boxes were signature doughnuts, such as the Bacon in the Sun, topped with a maple glaze, bacon, and a salted caramel drizzle; the Boardwalk coated in a vanilla glaze donut with Oreo crumbles and powdered sugar; and the S’mores donut with chocolate icing, graham cracker crumbles and marshmallow drizzle.
Hungry guests looking for something more low-key have the option to stick to the originals. These are the plain doughnuts with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry icing, rainbow and chocolate sprinkles and powdered and cinnamon sugar.
As for himself, as well as his wife, Sana Rafique, and his son, Athar said the Peanut Butter Paradise is the family favorite, with its peanut butter icing and chocolate drizzle.
‘We were hooked’
The Nassau franchisee said he first heard of Duck Donuts from a friend amidst the pandemic. With the extra downtime, the family took a drive to the Hauppauge location.
“We got a dozen, but we couldn’t eat inside,” Athar said. “We stepped outside, on the trunk of our car we had our first bite and we were hooked. This was a Saturday, and on Monday we called the franchise to see if there was an opportunity for Nassau County.”
“We just believed in the product, the product sells itself,” he added. “We didn’t want to drive that hour every time to get another doughnut.”
Athar said he already envisions opening three additional Duck Donuts over the next three years.
“We have some plans looking for new locations in Oceanside, Plainview and Massapequa,” he said looking at the line stretching outside his Garden City shop. “Hopefully, we’ll continue this success and employ hundreds of people throughout Nassau County.”
Hours and location
Duck Donuts is located in at 2425 Jericho Turnpike in Garden City Park’s City Park Plaza. After its grand opening weekend, it will be open Monday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Tuesday to Thursday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.