COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – When looking for donuts, locals have many options. Columbus has three local donut brands with a total of four stores, as well as a number of other chains. Two of the local donut shops were added this year. So what’s behind this enthusiasm?
According to representatives from Veri Best Donuts, Columbus’s Best Donuts and Golden Donut’s newest Wynnton Road location, it could be due to a number of factors.
“Everybody just likes sweets. Something that’s easy to get and delicious,” said Charisma Johnson, cashier at Columbus’s Best Donuts, which celebrated its grand opening in April. She speculated that the store’s customers might feel that her donuts were “made with love.”
Johnson noted that the store’s glazed donuts and blueberry pie donuts are the most popular with customers. She also reported an uptick in purchases, saying the store already had “several hundred” customers before 11am today.
“It’s in the name, so I feel like you have to come here for the best donuts, the best service and everything. Everything is just the best here,” said the cashier.
Angela Majors, manager of Golden Donut’s new Wynnton Road location, said it’s the texture of their donuts that sets the brand apart from other local options.
“We’re the best, I’ll explain why,” said Majors, who has worked at Golden Donut for 20 years. “Our donuts are completely different from other locations – not just because I work here, but also. I’ve tested them all – ours are light and fluffy.”
Majors added that many Golden Donut customers have expressed that sentiment to her. She said, “That’s why they come here. They drive past every other donut shop and come here for that reason.”
The manager reported that the store typically sells about 1,000 donuts during her eight-hour weekday morning shift alone. According to Majors, glazed donuts and apple fritters are the most popular with customers.
Kristen Granberry, the owner of Veri Best Donuts on Broadway, said locals love her donuts for their nostalgia factor and homemade taste. Although this location has only been around since 2021, the store first opened in the Columbus area in 1954.
“I think it’s all you have in your taste buds and in your memories and what people want to support and who they don’t want to support,” Granberry said. She explained how Veri Best makes its product daily and mixes new batters every hour, which sets it apart from other options in the city.
The owner of Veri Best also remembered When their current location opened, people in line were talking about eating their donuts in honor of loved ones who passed away.
Despite the fact that there’s plenty of competition locally, Granberry said it ultimately benefits her business. Using an example of hot dogs to explain, she described that if someone finds a good hot dog in town, they are likely to browse other local options to find the best one.
Even when her customers try other stores, Granberry told WRBL that they “always” come back, usually for the cinnamon rolls at the store. She emphasized that it is important to her that Columbus residents go to local businesses.
Granberry said, “I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter where you buy your food, your drinks, your clothes, just support a local corner shop.” Supporting your local people, that’s the most important thing. “