Shipley Do-Nuts, a long time coming, has finally opened its doors to doughnut lovers in Texarkana. Word about the store began circulating several months ago, when the foundation was laid on Arkansas Boulevard, just a couple buildings east of Big Jake's BBQ, on the north side of the street. Customers have been eyeing that location awaiting opening day. And that day was Wednesday. Owner Michael Ung said he understands the anticipation. He's a pastry fan and comes from a family with deep experience in the business in Asia.
"My family has been in the baking business a long time, so this seemed like a natural transition," he said. "I've been involved in several businesses over the years, such as gas stations, liquor stores, the restaurant business. For the next step, I wanted to try my hand at something new, something sweet."
His family's pastry background includes making chakquay, which Ung describes as a fried biscuit that is popular across Asia.
A friend introduced Ung to the Shipley brand, and he was quickly impressed. When the opportunity arose, he became a franchisee.
"I like the company's support for franchise owners," he said. "They support you from beginning to end, treat you like a member of the family."
Ung originally considered setting up on State Line before deciding on Arkansas Boulevard, where land was ready for building.
"We had to stabilize the foundation and stiffen up the soil, he said. "Between the loose soil and extensive amount of rains, we experienced delays. Mother Nature was not helpful much of the time, but we managed," Ung said.
Ung said Texarkana doughnut fans have welcomed the opening.
"Day one was very good to us. We haven't even set up any advertising yet, but folks have already found us," he said.