New doughnut shop opens in Upper St. Clair
A doughnut shop with southern roots has made its way into the South Hills of Pittsburgh.
Duck Donuts, which originated a decade ago in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, opened to customers June 23 in the Siena at St. Clair shopping center in Upper St. Clair. It is the fourth location in Pennsylvania – with a fifth opening soon – and the first in the Pittsburgh area.
“We’ve been so welcomed by the community telling us how excited they are that we’re here,” said Andy Jarusinsky, who owns the store with his wife, Kate. “We’re doing something that I think the community is really excited about and they’re enjoying and that was really the whole reason behind doing it.”
Like many Pittsburghers, Jarusinsky and his family often vacationed in the Outer Banks, and they were introduced to Duck Donuts in 2010.
“I tried the maple bacon doughnut, which I had never had before,” Jarusinsky said. “I was just blown away by the doughnut itself. But when I went inside, the level of service I was provided, the atmosphere was very friendly, my kids enjoyed watching the doughnuts being made.
Then, in 2015, Jarusinsky, who worked in the human resources and talent management consulting industry for about 20 years, took the leap and decided to pursue owning a Duck Donuts in Pittsburgh.
“It had gotten to the point where I started thinking about doing something on my own but wasn’t sure what that was but I knew there was something. I looked at a few other things and Duck Donuts just seemed to be the right fit,” Jarusinsky said. “I never thought I would be owning a doughnut shop, but you never know where things go in life.”
Jarusinsky said Pittsburgh is one of the top three regions in the country that vacations to the Outer Banks, making the new location a viable one.
“I think there was a lot of recognition and brand recognition, and I think that’s why people have been very excited,” he said. “It’s something they recognize and may have an emotional connection to, and we’re trying replicate that as best as we can.”
Born and raised on the eastern side of Pittsburgh, Jarusinsky said he was frequently visited the South Hills growing up and had family in the area. He said the new location fit what he was looking for in a new location perfectly.
“(We wanted) somewhere that was a very visible, very accessible and very recognizable area,” he said. “We’re across from the mall, this is a new development so there are some new and different things coming into this plaza, which we wanted to be a part of. Certainly the family demographics and the number of people that are in the area helped as well.”
Now that the store is open, Jarusinsky said it is up to him and the employees at the new Duck Donuts to create the atmosphere that attracted Jarusinsky to the chain in the first place.
“What we need to keep in mind here is providing that above and beyond level of service, something that people would remember,” he said. “So we want to go out of our way making sure people are leaving here happy. I want to make sure we’re recognized for our service and our atmosphere.”
At Duck Donuts, customers can choose exactly how they want their doughnut made, with separate toppings, icings and drizzles, and then watch it be made.
“The doughnut itself is very unique,” Jarusinsky said. “Warm, delicious and made to order is our tagline, so the process of it being made while you watch is what sets us apart.”
The store is open seven days a week: Sunday to Monday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday to Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jarusinsky said they are planning a grand opening for the community at the end of July.