U.S. Commercial Service reopening Harrisburg office

An open house is being hosted today by the U.S. Commercial Service to commemorate the reopening of the CS Harrisburg office after 12 years. 

The CS Harrisburg Office and the World Trade Center of Harrisburg are celebrating the occasion with the presenting of the Export Achievement Award to Duck Donuts of Mechanicsburg. 

Expected to provide enhanced U.S. government support for exporters in 19 counties in Central and South-Central Pennsylvania, the CS will also seek to strengthen ties with the local international trade community. 

The Export Achievement Award recognizes U.S. companies that have exported to new foreign markets. With assistance from the U.S. Commercial Service, Duck Donuts is opening its first franchise in Qatar. 

Among those expected to appear at today’s commemoration are U.S. Commercial Service Harrisburg Director Nicolas Cervantes, World Trade Center of Harrisburg Executive Director Tina Weyant, U.S. Commercial Service Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and Duck Donuts CEO Betsy Hamm. 

Representatives from the Offices of Sen. Bob Casey Jr., and Sen. John Fetterman, and Reps. Scott Perry, Lloyd Smucker, Glenn Thompson, John Joyce, and Dan Meuser have also been invited. 

The open house is scheduled to be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Export Achievement Award presentation is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Duck Donuts opens second location in Puerto Rico 

Duck Donuts opened its second Puerto Rican location in Plaza Escorial, Carolina on April 22. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Duck Donuts opened its second Puerto Rico franchise location last week in Carolina, Puerto Rico. 

The Mechanicsburg-based donut chain has grown quickly after it began franchising in 2013 and has since expanded to over 110 locations. 

The Puerto Rican franchise marks the third international location for the company, joining franchises in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Bayamón, Puerto Rico. 

Both Puerto Rico locations are owned by Jorge Ramos, Juan Carlos Piñero, and Delmarie Ayala. The Bayamón location opened in 2020.  

“We are happy to open our second location in Plaza Escorial, Carolina, and continue with our growth plan of Duck Donuts brand in Puerto Rico,” said Ayala. “When we opened our first store in Plaza Rio Hondo, Bayamón, we had major setbacks due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. As we prepared to open our second store, we faced other COVID-19 related challenges such as labor shortage, construction materials and equipment price increases, amongst others. But our team continued to persevere, and we are thrilled to finally announce the opening of Plaza Escorial shop.” 

The new Carolina store covers 1,800 square feet and features Duck Donuts’ beach theme prevalent across its US stores. 

Duck Donuts plans to open 300 franchises by 2025.  

Last year the company announced franchise agreements with companies in Egypt and Canda. Those partners plan to open a Duck Donuts location in Burlington, Canada this summer and two in Egypt this August. 

Duck Donuts hires chief development officer

The lobby of one of Duck Donuts’ over 100 franchises across the country. PHOTO PROVIDED.

As Duck Donuts anticipates opening 40 domestic and eight international doughnut shops in 2022, the company announced the appointment of several hires, including Eric Lavinder as chief development officer.

The newly created role of chief development officer will oversee the company’s business development strategy through franchise sales and licensing, real estate and construction teams. Lavinder has more than 20 years’ experience with rapidly expanding fast-casual franchises, most recently working as chief development officer for WOWorks, the holding company to brands such as Saladworks, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, Frutta Bowls and The Simple Greek.

Mechanicsburg-based Duck Donuts also named Alyssa Martin to the new job of creative director and Brigid Bink as digital marketing director, a new position as well.

Martin has worked for various food brands including Hershey Creamery, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts and Auntie Anne’s. Bink comes to Duck Donuts from Honeygrow Restaurant Group.

“As we prepare for explosive growth and look to set ourselves up for a successful year, Duck Donuts has been focused on having the right strategy, structure and people in place,” Betsy Hamm, Duck Donuts CEO, said in a release.

The company, which opened in 2007 in the North Carolina beach resort towns of Duck and Kitty Hawk, operates one international and 106 U.S. franchise locations across 22 states.

Duck Donuts franchisee opens first Saudi Arabia location

The entrance to Duck Donuts’ new location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Duck Donuts’ newest international location opened this month in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Mechanicsburg-based donut franchise is in the midst of growing its brand outside of the country with franchisees in Saudi Arabia, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Anjal Arabia, the company’s franchisee in Saudi Arabia, signed a master franchise agreement  in October 2019. It opened its first Duck Donuts store this month and is expected to open nine additional units in the next five years.

The group will also sub-franchise Duck Donuts locations throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We are delighted to add Saudi Arabia to the growing list of countries where Duck Donuts is expanding and is making a positive impact within the local community,” said Betsy Hamm, Duck Donuts CEO. “We look forward to their rapid development of this exciting market, giving those throughout the country the chance to taste and experience our warm, delicious and made-to-order donuts.”

The Riyadh Duck Donuts carries over the company’s beach theme and offers donuts, coffee, espresso, donut sundaes, breakfast and more.

“Since we have opened our doors, the positive feedback from all customers is motivating us to bring Duck Donuts to every mall in Saudi and open drive-through locations throughout the country to give everyone the chance to experience our delicious, warm donuts and great coffee,” said Mohammed Alsherhri, Duck Donuts Kingdom of Saudi Arabia co-owner. 

Duck Donuts opened its first international location in Dubai in late 2020. It plans to open its first franchises in Canada and Egypt in the coming months.


Duck Donuts signs deal to expand franchise to Canada

Mechanicsburg-based Duck Donuts continues its international expansion, announcing the signing of a multi-unit franchise agreement that awarded the rights to develop and operate the company’s first Canadian locations.

2651754 Ontario Inc. plans to establish three locations in Ontario over the next four years, with the first expected to open in late 2021 in the city of Burlington, on the northwestern end of Lake Ontario.

Duck Donuts presently operates in 22 states and 105 locations, including in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; it will open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia later this summer.

“We are confident this first multi-unit franchise agreement will help us continue to generate interest throughout Canada and open many doors for our brand once the community has their first bite of a warm donut from Duck Donuts,” Betsy Hamm, Duck Donuts CEO, said in a release.

The company’s first stores opened in 2007 in the beach towns of Duck and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Duck Donuts started franchising six years later.

Duck Donuts inks agreement that will ‘sprinkle a little happiness’ in Egypt

An Egyptian convenience store and gas station company plans to open 25 Duck Donuts locations after signing a master franchise agreement with the Mechanicsburg-based chain.

Master Foods, a managing group of retail stores, agreed to open 25 locations in Egypt over the next five years, the first of which is planned for New Cairo later this year.

“We are very excited to announce our expansion to Egypt and enter into this partnership with Master Foods, a group who is eager and ready to integrate the Duck Donuts brand within a country filled with rich history,” said Betsy Hamm, Duck Donuts CEO. “Not only are Egyptians always looking to try something new, especially desserts, but the culture has a strong focus on family values, which aligns perfectly with our brand.”

Duck Donuts opened its first locations in Duck and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 2007. The company became a franchise in 2013 and has since grown to operate 105 locations across the country and one in Dubai.

Ahmed Sabat, the new co-owner of Duck Donuts Egypt, said he discovered Duck Donuts through its Dubai location and knew that the brand would be popular in Egypt.

“(I) instantly knew this unique brand and made-to-order experience would make a great fit within the Egyptian culture that appreciates high-quality foods,” said Sabat. “Duck Donuts will land in the heart of Cairo and soon we will be able to sprinkle a taste of happiness to those throughout Egypt.”

Last month, Duck Donuts was acquired by Radnor-based private equity firm NewSpring Franchise in a move that is expected to accelerate the franchise’s growth to more markets.
Duck Donuts plans to open about 30 locations before the end of the year, and expand to 50 annually in 2022.

Duck Donuts acquired by Radnor-based private equity firm, announces new CEO

The lobby of one of Duck Donuts’ over 100 franchises across the country. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Mechanicsburg donut franchise Duck Donuts has been acquired by a Radnor-based private equity firm in a move that the local franchise says will provide the resources it needs to accelerate its growth to more markets.

Duck Donuts and NewSpring Franchise, a private equity firm focused on investing in franchise and multi-unit concepts, announced on Tuesday that NewSpring acquired Duck Donuts for an undisclosed sum.

As part of the transition, Russ DiGilio, founder and original CEO of Duck Donuts, announced he will be stepping down from his position and Betsy Hamm, the company’s former chief operating officer, will be taking over the role.

Duck Donuts opened its first locations in Duck and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The company became a franchise in 2013 and has since grown to over 100 locations open across the country and one in Dubai.

By the end of this year, the company expects to open an additional 30 locations. By 2022, it plans to increase the number of stores it opens annually to 50.

In its eight years as a franchise, Duck Donuts has primarily reached franchisees organically, something that it hopes to improve upon as it looks to see further expansion in the Midwest and West, said DiGilio.

“People had an experience at one of our locations, they approached us and if we thought their location would be well served we would work with them,” he said. “About a year and a half ago, it dawned on me that if we were going to accomplish our goals to really expand our brand in a more robust way, we couldn’t do what we did on the east coast in the Midwest and the West if we allowed it to grow organically.”

Betsy Hamm, the new CEO of Duck Donuts. PHOTO PROVIDED.

Along with the resources to grow into more markets, the acquisition allows Duck Donuts to tap into NewSpring’s knowledge and experience. The team at Duck Donuts is fairly new at the franchise business and will need the assistance as it grows into new markets and looks for new opportunities in markets it already operates in, according to DiGilio.

DiGilio will continue as a significant owner of the company. He said that the company is in great hands with Hamm at the helm. Hamm has been with the company for nearly five years.

The acquisition comes at a great time for the company, which recently hit the 100 franchise milestone, which only 16% of franchises hit, according to Hamm. She said that the coming months will see Duck Donuts not only expand into more markets, but also look at backfilling markets it’s in already and open locales in non-traditional locations like amusement parks and theaters.

Duck Donuts is the second of five franchises being purchased by NewSpring Franchise. The firm looks for brands with a loyal customer base and a fast-growing geographic footprint and Duck Donuts was a perfect fit, said Patrick Sugrue, NewSpring General Partner.

“Duck is differentiated by its customer experience and CEO Betsy Hamm has done a tremendous job expanding the company’s presence in communities across the country to position the company for future growth into new markets,” he said. “We are thrilled to partner with Betsy and her team to take Duck Donuts to the next level.”