By: Brendan Hader
Comedian Daniel Tosh once joked about how it’s impossible to frown on a wave runner; they are just too much fun. I think the same applies when you walk into a donut shop. With the symphony of smells and treasure trove of choices that demand your eyes dart to and fro—it’s impossible to be in a bad mood.
And when it comes to creating those smells, flavors and smiles, The Donut Dude in West Chester does it as well as anybody in town.
Owner Glen Huey was in the woodworking industry for over 30 years. When someone is in any line of work for over three decades, it’s assumed that will remain their path. But sometimes a simple joy in life can morph into something greater.
Working out of an office conveniently located by a donut shop, Huey couldn’t help but take an interest in the science behind the pastry. In 2018, an initial curiosity sparked a desire to learn, and he soon found himself working part time at a local donut shop. After six months of going into work at midnight with people half his age, asking quesions, learning the inner workings, and most importantly, just having a blast, Huey decided his new hobby could be a sustainable (and profitable) business. In March 2020, The Donut Dude opened its doors for the first time.
“One of the things that got me into woodworking was the creativity of designing and building the projects,” he said. “And that’s what you get from donuts. We come in every day with a blank canvas of dough, make and design donuts, put them out the door, come in the next day, and start the same process. That constant regeneration and instant gratification works great for me.”
If you can’t find something you like when you walk in on a given morning, your taste buds simply must hate being happy. From classic glazed, cake, frosted, custard and cream-filled options to cereal, S’mores, cotton candy and so much more—not to mention the fritters and croissants—they have it all. Deciding what and how many to get is the only challenge.
As for Huey, his constant challenge is searching for the next donut. Whether it’s browsing the internet, throwing seemingly odd combinations together to see what comes out, or even listening to patrons pitch their ideas, he is open to anything. The endless possibilities are what make work feel less like work for him.
The Donut Dude, now one of the stops along the famous Butler County Donut Trail, opened with a goal of being the community donut shop. With all the work they do with local schools and businesses, along with the steady flow of everyday consumers, they are well on their way.
So next time you’re in the West Chester area, check it out for yourself. And don’t be afraid to pitch an idea of your own—it just may be on the menu the next time you stop in.