Ryan McNeil was visiting family in North Carolina when his brother-in-law told him about a place he just had to try.
A line was out the door. Inside, children were excitedly rummaging through a bowl of tiny rubber ducks, looking for ones they didn't already have in their collection. A rubber duck holding a sand pail and shovel? Or a boat captain with a black hat?
Then the children watched, enthralled, as their doughnuts rolled out of the deep fryer and then were iced in a variety of colors.
McNeil, his wife Katie, her father Lloyd Doolittle and his wife, Peggy, decided to bring the Duck Donuts concept to Kansas City. Their first location is scheduled to open Saturday in Ranchmart North, 3630 W. 95th St., Leawood.
Duck Donuts serves vanilla cake doughnuts bare or with a coating (cinnamon sugar, powered sugar, glazed or icing). Customers can then add as many toppings and drizzles as they want.
Topping choices include sprinkles, graham crackers, chopped peanuts, bacon pieces, shredded coconut and/or Oreos. Drizzles include hot fudge, marshmallow, salted caramel, raspberry and/or blackberry.
A single doughnut is $1.60 or $15.25 for a dozen.
A doughnut breakfast sandwich can be topped with egg, cheese, sausage or bacon and glaze (and maybe some hot sauce). Customers also can order a doughnut sundae with Breyers ice cream and a drizzle.
This weekend's hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Then hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The area franchisees plan to open two more area locations by 2020. They are looking at spots in the metro and Lawrence.
Duck Donuts founder Russ DiGilio also was on vacation in Duck, N.C., when his family wanted warm, made-to-order doughnuts. When they couldn't find a place nearby, DiGilio decided to open one of his own in 2007. The first franchise location opened in 2013.
It now has nearly 70 franchise locations and more than 210 under contract in 23 states.