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Donutland returns to Iowa City, opens in place of Daylight Donuts

Owner Jeff Collins said the menu will feature the same items as the Cedar Rapids location, with added Daylight Donuts customer favorites.

After closing its Iowa City store ten years ago, Donutland is back.

Donutland was founded in 1971 and expanded across the Midwest before shrinking over the years to a single location in Cedar Rapids. Under the ownership of Jeff Collins, who has been in charge since September 2018, said the business is expanding again and opened a location in Iowa City in place of Daylight Donuts on March 1.

Donutland previously had a location in Iowa City on Highway 1, but closed in the early 2010s.

Collins said he was excited to bring Donutland back to the Iowa City market and create a “fun, happy atmosphere with great donuts.”

“We have an amazing staff in Cedar Rapids and we’re very fortunate to inherit a really dedicated staff here in Iowa City as well,” Collins said.

Donutland’s menu will be similar to its Cedar Rapids location, but the store will retain Daylight Donuts customer favorites such as pies and pine cones, Collins said. He also plans to add these menu items to Donutland’s Cedar Rapids location in the future.

Collins said the past two years have been tough with the pandemic and the derecho hitting Iowa, but with things getting back to a good place, now was the time to expand.

Donutland is also building a new location in Cedar Rapids, which Collins plans to open in April. He said he hadn’t counted on the possibility of further expansion.

“We think we have a great brand that obviously people want to support,” Collins said. “We just want to make good donuts.”

RELATED: Daylight Donuts will open a new location in February and will bring changes to customers

Collins said Iowa City staff are adjusting well to the changes brought by the new ownership, giving credit to the workers, as well as the work being done by Daylight Donuts owners Scott and Vicki Ward.

During the transition, Collins said he made sure to listen to employees and customers to ensure a seamless transition coupled with a good product.

“People need to have fun with all the challenges in the world right now,” Collins said, “Donuts just make you smile. That’s all we want to do is make them smile.

Donutland shopper and Iowa City resident Angie Maske-Berka said she’s always happy with new additions in the east end of town because most of the nearby restaurants are downtown or in Coralville. .

Maske-Berka, who often goes for a run, said the restaurant’s location makes it a great place for a day off.

“I’m glad a donut shop came in where Daylight Donuts left. Because we really don’t have anything like that on the east side,” she said, “…It’s nice to have more options here.

Donutland partner Malora Cosgrove said customer response in the first few days of opening has been wonderful, with customers discussing the nostalgia it brings from when the store was in Iowa City before.

“We’ve had queues at the door for a few moments, even in the rain, so we’re just happy to be back,” she said.