Inside Dough-Versity Donuts, the walls are gray with white trim, making the shop feel light and airy, like a cloud. The aroma of baked dough and coffee greet every entrant warmly. The shop has a small-town charm complete with wall-hanging plants, steel and wood donut signs and a Joanna Gaines-y interior.
David Bryan, the owner of Dough-Versity, explains that this shop has been an idea for over three years. He would always joke that a donut shop in the middle of town was a no-brainer.
In December, when Bryan received a call from the realtor saying that the space at 5 S Beech St. was available, he immediately agreed to take it, without having seen the inside in several years. The building was formerly Hush Apparel, until they moved to a location on High St., and a record store named Looney T Bird’s Record and Tape before that. Bryan recalls being in high school and searching for Michael Jackson’s Thriller in the back of the store.
“I know the area well. I know what hours the college kids are out,” Bryan said. “Our shop is meant for late-night relaxing or studying, it’s not loud or obnoxious.”
A typical morning for Bryan consists of arriving at Dough-Versity at 6:30 a.m.. He sticks around for a little while, making sure that the business is running smoothly and that all of the donuts have been delivered.
That’s right. Delivered. Because they have no room in their building for friers, Dough-Versity runs business a little different than most other donut shops. They have partner donut shops that make their donuts for them, transport them 30-45 minutes and deliver them fresh to Dough-Versity’s shelves. This means that their selection is a carefully curated collection of their favorite donuts.
That’s the motivation behind their name. Because only the best and brightest applicants are accepted into a university, Dough-Versity only sells the donuts they believe deserve to be in their shop.
“My wife is pretty much a creative genius,” Bryan said. “Before we decided to buy this space, she came up with the name. I think it works.”
The shop offers over 35 different donut options everyday, along with four small-batch organic drip, cold brew and nitro brew coffees. They are focused on marketing toward college students, providing free wifi and plenty of charging outlets.
The business opened on June 1 which is, coincidentally, National Donut Day. The line started at the front counter, went down the sidewalk and wrapped down a side street. Although the displays and the back of the shop were stocked full of donuts, they sold out in only three hours.
Some have worried about the effects of this new competition on the staple, Oxford Doughnut Shoppe. In response to the worry, Bryan says there is no tension.
“If you ask me, I think Oxford Doughnut Shoppe has the best donuts,” Bryan said. “Their classic glazed donut is incredible. They do a great job.”
Joshua Francis, owner of Oxford Doughnut Shoppe, says that there has been no effect on his business because he believes they are so different.
“There are a lot of places in town that sell donuts,” Francis said. “But then there is only one that makes their donuts.”
For this reason, Dough-Versity is not a stop on the Butler County Donut Trail. There is currently a rule in the Trail’s standards stating that each stop must make their donuts in-house.
To reach out to college students, Dough-Versity has extended their late night hours from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m Thursday-Friday.