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

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


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Donutland is seen on March 2, 2022 in Iowa City Iowa.

Sam Knupp, News Reporter

After closing its Iowa City store a decade ago, Donutland is back.

Donutland was founded in 1971 and expanded across the Midwest before downsizing over the years to one 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 an Iowa City location in the place of Daylight Donuts on March 1.

Donutland previously had an Iowa City location on Highway 1 but closed its doors in the early 2010s.

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

“We have an incredible 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 that of its Cedar Rapids location, but the store will keep customer favorites from Daylight Donuts such as pies and pinecones, Collins said. He also plans to add those menu items to Donutland’s Cedar Rapids location in the future.

Collins said the past couple of years have been challenging with the pandemic and derecho hitting Iowa, but with things returning to a good spot, the time was right to expand.

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

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

Collins said the Iowa City staff is doing well adjusting to the changes brought on by new ownership, giving credit to the workers, along with the work done by Daylight Donuts owners, Scott and Vicki Ward.

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

“People need to have some 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 bring a smile to their face.”

Angie Maske-Berka, a Donutland customer and Iowa City resident, said she’s always happy for new additions to the east side of the city, as most nearby dining options are located downtown or in Coralville.

Maske-Berka, who often goes out running, said the restaurant’s location makes it a great place to go on a rest day.

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

Malora Cosgrove, a partner of Donutland, said the response from customers 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.

“In moments we’ve had lines out the door, even in the rain, so we’re just glad to be back,” she said.

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