More than two years after Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee made plans to open in Leesburg, Loudoun County residents are finally able to check out the newest location Thursday in Lansdowne Town Center.
The Sugar Shack brand, which originated in Richmond in 2013, was a favorite of former state Del. Tag Greason (R) of Ashburn when he served in the General Assembly. He said they would sometimes appear around the office in Richmond and were always very popular.
“I knew this was a good doughnut,” he said.
When his colleague in the General Assembly, former Del. Rob Krupicka, a Democrat from Alexandria, bought the licensing rights to Sugar Shack in northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., he asked Greason to become an investor.
An Alexandria Sugar Shack opened in 2015 and other locations in Arlington in 2016 and Washington, D.C. in 2017.
Greason and another investor, Nick Blessing, are managing the Lansdowne operation.
The 1,800-square-foot space features brightly colored signature orange walls, concrete flooring and industrial chic interior design. There are comfortable chairs in the corner for lounging, as well as stools and table areas inside and on the patio.
“We love the look and feel of it. I think this will be our best one yet,” Greason said.
Known for its big, fluffy homemade yeast doughnuts with specialty flavors, the shop also carries cake-style doughnuts, as well as jelly-filled, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free, the latter of which are outsourced by 7-4 Peace in order to avoid cross-contamination.
Popular flavors for the yeast-style doughnuts include Samoa, maple bacon and classic glazed or cinnamon.
One good outcome from the lengthy delay – which Greason says was caused by paperwork changes that needed to be made to the building's newly formed HOA's bylaws – was that Greason and Blessing developed close relationships with the residents, whom Greason says are excited and receptive to their new business.
For the next few weeks, the shop will be open Thursday through Sunday with limited hours in order to train staff and to learn how to plan for inventory.
“We opened unannounced last Saturday at 8:15 a.m. and sold 450 doughnuts in less than two hours,” Greason said. “It was a fantastic day.”
They doubled the amount of doughnuts for Sunday and again quickly sold out.
The Lansdowne Sugar Shack location will also offer handmade smoothies – a concept created by Greason's wife Mary Beth, who wanted to offer a healthy option on the menu. In addition to doughnuts and smoothies, there is a full-service coffee bar featuring Lavazza coffee, cold brew, nitro brew, and espresso drinks.
Doughnuts begin at $2.25 each. There are also doughnut holes and a “Luther Sunrise” sandwich on the menu. The Luther Sunrise is a doughnut cut in half, with egg and sausage or bacon in the middle.
The hours for the soft opening are Thursday through Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. After the staff has been trained and operations are running smoothly, hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
In between making doughnuts, Greason will continue his day job as chief hyperscale officer at QTS, Inc., a data center company with 26 locations around the country. As for his political future, he has not ruled out running for office again – possibly after his children have grown and left for college.