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Daylight Donuts shop opens near Ninth and Iowa streets


If you have been in Lawrence long enough, chances are you have a memory of the old Jennings Daylight Donuts in downtown Lawrence. Mine was how it saved me from a Paradise Cafe omelet that had salmon and spinach and probably other things green in it. (If I want green eggs, I'll use the carton in the back of the fridge, thank you.)

It was my first trip into hip Paradise Cafe, and you'll have to forgive me. I wasn't the picture of sophistication that I am today. All I knew was that it wasn't anything like the BETO Junction truck stop breakfast I had grown up on. So, I went across the street to the Jennings Daylight Donuts and had a donut — or five.

I'm probably still not cool enough to go into the Paradise, even if it existed today, but I can get saved again by a Daylight donut. A new Daylight Donuts shop opened recently at 935 Iowa St. In case you are having a hard time picturing the location, it is just east of the Royal Crest Lanes bowling alley. Or, if you are a donut connoisseur, this surely will help: It is across the parking lot and up a few doors from Munchers Bakery.

That's right. Two donut shops within staring distance of each other. Perhaps they can meet in the parking lot and duel with long johns or cinnamon twists. Mike Daniels, owner of the Daylight Donuts, said don't count on it. He said he didn't choose the location to compete head-to-head with Munchers.

"It wasn't something that was planned at all," Daniels said. "This just happened to be one of the few locations that met our criteria."

So far, business has been good, said Daniels, who also owns the Daylight Donuts shop in Ottawa.

"We have a lot of people who have some pretty good memories of Daylight Donuts in this town," Daniels said.

He said many of the recipes for the donuts are still the same from past decades when Jennings Daylight Donuts was an institution on Massachusetts Street. (It was where Lids, the hat shop, is today. I think the donut shop closed in the early 1990s, but I'm not certain of the timing.) Daylight Donuts is a franchise based out of Tulsa, but the franchise provides each shop with the special Daylight donut mix, which some donut fans say has a lighter texture than most.

At the Lawrence shop, Daniels said he routinely makes a variety of cake donuts, glazed donuts, baked cinnamon rolls, fried cinnamon rolls, bear claws, raspberry twists, turnovers, and a classic that is called an old-fashioned cake donut or sometimes it is referred to as a sour cream donut.

"It is pretty good for dunking in coffee," Daniels said.

The business also serves breakfast sandwiches, breakfast pies and biscuits and gravy. Hours are 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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  • Comments

    Suzanne Jacobsen 4 years, 5 months ago

    What I want to know is, do they sell pinecones? Those were my absolute favorite, as a kid, and I still crave them from time to time! Can't wait to go check it out!

    Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 5 months ago

    Suzanne, I had never heard of pinecone pastry so I had to look it up. You can get them caramel filled? Yum. I will be checking that out as well as cream cheese filled donuts. Food that satisfies the body and soul.

    Steve Tramba 4 years, 5 months ago

    I no longer live in L-town, but fully agree w/ Barbara... Mike must've been smiling ear to ear when he said that... location location location, and what criteria? A loyalist to a fault sometimes, but when I come back to Lawrence - it's Munchers all the way.

    Andy Craig 4 years, 5 months ago

    Don't forget that there was also a Daylight Donuts a year or so ago at 6th & Kasold next to Westlake Hardware that didn't last very long.

    Belinda Rehmer 4 years, 5 months ago

    Chad, "a picture of sophistication" you crack me up!

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