Hurts Donuts opens in Cedar Falls

EMMA PISTARINO, Staff Writer

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Hurts Donuts opened the doors of its Cedar Falls branch to the public on Wednesday, Nov 6. Located at 100 E 2nd St in downtown Cedar Falls, the new store opened at 5 a.m. and will be welcoming customers 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Hurts offers a selection of over 70 varieties of donuts and other assorted pastries, as well as hot and cold coffee drinks. Some of the options include blueberry, strawberry cheesecake or Nutella donuts, candy-inspired donuts, sausage-stuffed kolaches, donut shakes (topped with a donut as the lid), as well as the owner’s personal favorite: a chocolate Long John.

Over 160 people have been trained to learn how to prepare the sweets, which are all made from scratch in the store. 

“Everything is handmade, said Janelle Wilks, who owns the store alongside her husband, Scott. “So, as an example: at Krispy Kreme, they use a machine to make their donuts, while at Dunkin’ Donuts, they get them in frozen. We do every single step from scratch: from making, mixing, rolling, cutting, frying and decorating the dough. It is a labor-intensive work, but totally worth it because they are so yummy!”

Hurts Donuts employees were ready on Monday, Nov. 4 and gave out the first 1,200 donuts from the new store to passerby in exchange for hugs. Actual production for the Grand Opening commenced the next day, during which approximately 12,000 donuts were prepared.

When asked about the public response to the store’s opening, Wilks sounded enthusiastic. 

“It has been so good,” she said. “Opening day was good, but on Friday we beat those numbers, and we will continue to beat them in the next few days. Starting at 4 a.m. on Friday, we’ve had a line almost out the door all day and all night.”

The Wilks have been members of the small business community the Cedar Falls area since 2012, when they opened a candy store called “Main Street Sweets.” The couple began eyeing the opportunity to open a Hurts store about two and a half years ago. After a lengthy break due to Janelle being diagnosed with breast cancer, they returned to the idea and signed the contract last February, with the support of two investors.

A large part of what brought the Wilks to open a second business in Cedar Falls is their love for the area, said Janelle, who attended UNI and remained with Scott in the area for a couple of years after finishing school.

“We then moved back to the Quad Cities, where we are from, but we always wanted to come back and raise our kids here,” she said. “Everyone here is so welcoming and it is so easy to make friends, which is very important when you are away from your family,”

Wilks was also extremely happy with the support that the community has given her family with the setting up of the store. 

“We had 15 or 20 friends down here helping us set up at all times during the two weeks prior,” she said. “We received so much support.”

Now that their first Hurts Donuts store has launched, the Wilks are already looking forward to opening a second one in Rochester, Minnesota, and possibly spreading out further after that.

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