Duck Donuts celebrates soft opening at new Fresh Meadows location

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Queens elected officials joined the owners of Duck Donuts for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its soft opening in Fresh Meadows on Thursday, April 6. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

Duck Donuts, known for serving warm, delicious and made-to-order donuts, celebrated its soft opening with local elected officials in Fresh Meadows on Thursday, April 6. 

Congresswoman Grace Meng, Senator John Liu and Councilwoman Linda Lee attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first Duck Donuts location in New York City at 61-32 190th St. in Fresh Meadows Place. The shop is owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo Umar Alizai and Nida Mumtaz. It’s a little bit of Mumtaz’s home state of North Carolina coming to Alizai’s backyard in Queens. 

Duck Donuts owner and operator Nida Mumtaz (c.) and Umar Alizai (second from right) with their family at the soft opening in Fresh Meadows on Thursday, April 6. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

Duck Donuts opened its first locations in 2007 in the beach resort towns of Duck and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with the intention to create an oasis for vacationers to enjoy warm, delicious, made-to-order donuts. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, PA, Duck Donuts began franchising in 2013 and prides itself on sprinkling happiness to its guests through its unique in-store experience, exceptional guest service and a “duckzillion” doughnut combinations. 

For Mumtaz, it’s a proud and exciting moment to be opening the first Duck Donuts in New York City. 

“Queens is home to many different backgrounds and cultures, and we couldn’t think of a better way to bring the community together than through sprinkling happiness with doughnuts,” Mumtaz said. “Fresh Meadows has a rich history with an abundance of schools, hospitals, universities and religious organizations. We are looking forward to being an active member of the community in Queens.”

Duck Donuts celebrated its soft opening at Fresh Meadows Place on Thursday, April 6. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

The idea to open their own store stemmed from a visit to a Duck Donuts location in North Carolina, according to Mumtaz. Following their experience at the store, the couple decided to bring Duck Donuts to New York City. It took them about eight months to figure out where they wanted to open their store. 

“We shopped around a lot and thought this was going to be a good location because of the outpouring of love from the community,” Mumtaz said. “We have a lot of kids in this area that go to high schools here and we wanted them to come be a part of us and learn to be accountable. We have a diverse and talented staff, which we have been blessed with.” 

The Duck Donuts Fresh Meadows location has 48 trained staff members that includes 80% of women. The staff members are high school and college students who are learning skills such as communicating and working in a team environment.

(Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

The 1,600 square-foot retail shop reflects the franchise’s iconic beach theme and family-friendly atmosphere. In addition to doughnuts, the Fresh Meadows location serves Duck Donuts’ signature coffee blends, espresso beverages, doughnut breakfast sandwiches, doughnut sundaes, frozen beverages, milkshakes, select retail items and more.

Duck Donuts specializes in warm, delicious and made-to-order doughnuts. Upon entering the store, customers are welcomed with the aroma of warm, light vanilla cake doughnuts. 

(Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

Customers can create their own doughnut combination by choosing from a variety of coatings, toppings and drizzles, including traditional favorites such as chocolate icing with sprinkles and more adventurous creations such as maple icing with bacon. The family-friendly stores offer a viewing area where children and adults alike can watch their donuts being made. 

A blueberry pancake doughnut (l.) and a cookies and cream doughnut. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

After tasting the warm, fluffy and delicious donuts, Meng, Liu and Lee said they’re excited that Duck Donuts chose Queens as their first location in the city. 

“I think they’ll do well. I had the plain doughnut with glaze icing and I got my son the strawberry confetti and he’ll be the final judge. It’s fun to see them freshly made,” Meng said. 

For Liu, the doughnuts are perfect as it’s “fluffy, not too sweet and not too greasy,” he said. 

“You get to see them bake it, you see them top it and package it, it’s a great operation here,” Liu said. “They hire lots of people, particularly young people, and the owners live here in the neighborhood. This is what business should be all about — the neighborhood, jobs and fabulous doughnuts.” 

After many businesses shuttered due to the pandemic, Lee said it’s great to see a new business open in the neighborhood. 

“I got a dozen [donuts] because I have to support the local businesses … it’s good to see a business like this open in the district, and bring the neighborhood back after the pandemic. However we can be supportive of our local businesses, I’m all about that,” Lee said. 

Duck Donuts will be celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, April 8, at 8 a.m. 

To celebrate the grand opening, the first guest in line on Saturday will receive a special gift basket filled with Duck Donuts merchandise and one free dozen doughnuts per month for a year. The 100th guest will receive one doughnut and one small coffee once a month for a year.

Additionally, 10% of the proceeds from the opening week will be donated to three foundations: Children’s Village NY, Queens Community House and SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) Foundation. 

Donuts at this location will be made fresh to order seven days a week, Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from  8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For grand opening details, specials and doughnut topping updates, visit the Duck Donuts Fresh Meadows Facebook page or connect on the web at DuckDonuts.com.