WALLINGFORD — Neil’s Donuts has launched its Middletown location with a soft opening.
In a significantly larger space at 211 S. Main St., with new employees, the doughnut shop is learning to adjust.
Customers familiar with Neil’s, and new customers from the area, filled the parking lot Thursday to get coffee, doughnuts, muffins and sandwiches.
Ernie Ferrebee and Jan Wahnon from Rocky Hill visited Neil’s for the first time after learning about it from a coworker.
“I work about a quarter mile up the street and saw the sign go up about a month or two ago,” Ferrebee said. “A guy I work with who lives in Wallingford told me Neil’s is a place that he loves.”
Neil Bukowski opened Neil’s Donuts in Wallingford almost 20 years ago and with the demand growing each year, he and his son Rob Bukowski decided to branch out to Middletown last fall.
Middletown’s location has more kitchen space and a drive-thru. Neil Bukowski is hoping for a grand opening in mid- November.
“One of the problems that we have is that we have all new bakers,” Neil Bukowski said about wanting to wait and allow his new employees to be more comfortable before the grand opening. “Hopefully they’ll be up ready to go and better trained.”
Bukowski wants to maintain the original values of the bakery in the new location. All of the doughnuts are made at night in the bakery and sandwiches are made on a grill. There are no microwaves.
By 11 a.m. on Wednesday and noon on Thursday, all of the doughnuts and most of the bagels and muffins were sold out. On Thursday, Neil’s made 60 percent more doughnuts and the shelves were still wiped empty.
The restaurant has the same hours as the Wallingford location: Sunday 6 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday – Closed, Tuesday – Friday 6 a.m. – 3 p.m., and Saturday 6 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Rob Bukowski noticed the location last September and brought it to his dad. Neil Bukowski liked it and wanted to move forward.
“We drove here and normally I don’t like a plaza but it’s got a drive-thru,” Bukowski said. “It’s Middletown, it’s a good town. It’s not 66 but this is pretty busy here. The space is much bigger which is what I needed.”