North Carolina biscuit & doughnut chain plans Kansas City, Lawrence locations

Rise Biscuits Donuts, a biscuit and doughnut chain based in Durham, N.C., has signed an area franchisee — its first in the Midwest.

Ryan Cook plans to open five shops in the next five years and is looking at sites throughout the metro as well as in Lawrence.

Rise Biscuits Donuts offers scratch biscuits and doughnuts made fresh daily. The biscuits can be eaten on their own, or cut and stuffed with fillings like buttermilk-brined fried chicken and Savory Buffalo (tossed in Buffalo sauce with shaved celery and blue cheese sauce).

Doughnut flavors include creme brulee, pineapple basil, Coconut Snowball (filled with coconut pudding, topped with coconut icing and dusted with coconut flakes) and maple bacon bar.

Other menu items include apple fritters, Bananas Foster, salads, chicken strips and “hashpuppies.”

Rise Donuts was founded in 2012 and it currently has 18 locations in eight states with many more in development. It was on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers & Shakers” list and also ranked as one of “The Best Biscuits in the U.S.” by Food & Wine Magazine.

Cook is from Ohio but moved to Kansas City after college a dozen years ago and worked for such companies as Cerner. He graduated from Johnson County Community College’s hospitality program, concentrating on the management side, and then worked for Houlihan’s before looking for a concept he could invest in.

“It’s a quality product and their founder is a chef. Everything is scratch-made but it is also quick and easy. You can just grab it and go,” Cook said.