Donut King aims for ‘old-school’ tradition, flavor
by Staff Writer
by Aaron Burns
HUNTERSVILLE – Lyle Sarnevitz wanted to recreate a childhood memory when he and his daughter Emily opened Donut King last month.
“I remember biting into a big, fresh-made jelly donut when I was a kid, and how good they were,” he said. “I wanted to recreate that and bring that kind of experience to the people.”
He runs the business side of Donut King, while Emily Sarnevitz manages the baking operations.
Lyle Sarnevitz, a Lexington, Mass. native, operated a picture frame store in Boston before he moved to Huntersville.
“I’ve always been a perfectionist as a businessman,” he said. “I wouldn’t sell a frame until it was completely perfect. I’m the same way with this.”
But Lyle Sarnevitz didn’t know how to bake. Emily Sarnevitz was a savvy baker, but was still learning the ins and outs of running a business when Donut King opened.
No matter. They’ve teamed up to make a formidable business, said Huntersville resident Karen Dortschy, who quickly became one of the regular customers.
“It’s a big difference from other places in the area,” she said. “We need more of these kinds of places in town.”
At Donut King, a single donut costs $1.25, with a half-dozen at $6.99 and 12 for $13.99. A dozen at Dunkin’ Donuts average between $6 and $8, depending on region, and at Krispy Kreme, the cost is $8.99.
Freshness, Lyle Sarnevitz says, separates Donut King from its competition.
“We have bakers come in at 10 p.m. and at 2 a.m. to bake donuts for the next business day,” he said. “People tell me we’re better than Krispy Kreme.”
The company, which employs 10, features more than 40 flavors of donuts, plus muffins and cinnamon rolls. They also offer Green Mountain Coffee, a popular blend in the Northeast.
“That’s done well, too,” Emily Sarnevitz said. “
To show their creativity, Donut King has special names for some of its products, including Kevin Maple Bacon and John Lemon Filled.
“Everything is old-school New England,” Lyle Sarnevitz said. “We don’t call them ‘sprinkles.’ They’re ‘jimmies.’”
There’s often another label that often sprouts up: Sold Out.
Donut King produces between 500 to 1,500 donuts daily, but when they’re gone, Lyle closes the shop for the day. For him and his daughter, it’s a two-pronged problem: people buy lots of donuts, but sometimes the store has to shut down as early as 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
“I hate it,” he said. “It means we don’t have hours to sell product. I don’t want to run out of product.”
There’s a price to pay for popularity.
“I was worried it wouldn’t work,” Emily said. “That’s not been the case at all. People love it, and we’re glad they do.”
Want to go?
Donut King is located at 9905-A Rose Commons Drive in Huntersville, across from Salsarita’s. Visit www.facebook.com/DonutKingHuntersville or call 704-948-0430 for more information.