Jondough Coffee & Doughnuts: Serving Gourmet Delights in Leland
Tucker Connette, twenty-five years old and an area native, had a fresh new business idea and decided to roll with it…literally.
“My dad used to own a coffee shop, several years back.” says Connette, “He sold it and got back into the contracting business. I worked with him and we did a lot of traveling while doing construction work on military bases.”
Connette found that the time was right to do something different, and so he had an idea to sell coffee online.
“I asked my dad if he still had his old coffee roaster,” says Connette. “He did, and I got it from him.”
The online idea soon evolved into a traveling coffee truck venture.
“We began converting an old van into a mobile coffee truck,” says Connette. “We knew how to do coffee, but we needed something else to sell with it. So, we came up with doughnuts.”
In the process of working out specifics for the mobile coffee business, they approached the owner of the land that Jondough now occupies.
“We asked the owner if we could park our truck on his property,” says Connette, “and he convinced us to just lease out the building that was on it.”
The mobile business never got up and running, but instead, the Connette’s found themselves diving into a new undertaking.
Transforming the structure that stands on Village Road into a place to sell coffee and doughnuts proved to be a challenge. It was one of the older buildings in the Leland area and had originally been a bank and most recently, a dry cleaners.
“The old vault is still here in the kitchen,” says Connette. It is now the perfect place to lock away those secret recipes. We began working on the building ourselves in October of 2015. It was a lot to do with only about three or four people doing the work,” says Connette.
But the Connette’s construction background provided the necessary knowledge and skills to make the remodeling a success.
Even the furniture is custom made. The tables, for example, made of concrete and metal, as well as the industrial themed display boards, cases, and racks are the handiwork of Connette’s dad.
Connette gives credit not only to his dad for helping establish the shop and getting business accounts, but he attributes Jondough’s’ accomplishments to other members of his family as well.
“My mom works here now, too,” says Connette. “She used to decorate cakes, so she comes up with a lot of our themed doughnut creations.”
Many of their ideas come from Instagram and are based around holidays. They have had doughnuts created especially for National Pokemon Day, Mardi Gras, Margarita Day, St. Patrick’s Day and even Hot Cross Buns and Peeps doughnuts for Easter.
“My mom was behind a lot of that,” says Connette.
Connette’s aunt is also a huge contributor to the business and lends her professional experience.
“She is the General Manager and has managed many businesses in the past. She also went to Johnson and Wales University,” says Connette.
It took eight months of research and experimenting to find the perfect recipe for their yeast doughnuts, which are hand rolled and then deep fried.
“We threw a lot of doughnuts away in the process before coming up with just the right recipe,” says Connette.
With the building in ship-shape order, a catchy name and logo in place, they were finally ready to open their doors to the public in November of 2016.
A typical day for Tucker Connette and his crew begins very early.
“We start at about midnight making and rolling out the dough. The first few batches are for delivery to convenient stores, then we start baking for the shop.”
With about ten people on staff, they get the job done.
“It’s a little hard finding people to work at midnight for you,” says Connette.
Plenty of glazed, filled, specialty doughnuts, croissants, bagels, gourmet coffee and more are ready for customers when the shop doors open in the early morning.
After closing hours, Connette usually goes to the gym, then gets his rest.
“I go to the gym because I tend to eat some doughnuts,” jokes Connette.
Jondough Coffee and Doughnuts is unique in many ways. They hand-make their original doughnuts and roast fresh coffee each day.
They provide a comfortable and friendly dining experience, and currently, are the only ones known to deliver to residential and commercial residences in the area. Jondough Doughnuts can also be found in places such as downtown Wilmington’s Farmin’ On Front, Java Dog, and other convenient stores and businesses throughout Leland, Wilmington, Hampstead, and Porter’s Neck.
Some popular menu items for customers range from the traditional glazed doughnuts, to the maple bacon, and cookies and cream doughnuts. The banana pudding, Cinnamon Doughst Crunch doughnut bars, and the Cro-doughs (rolled, then fried croissants filled with Boston or Bavarian cream, etc.) are also fan favorites. Plus, those looking for genuine New York bagels find them here.
“We don’t make our own bagels, but we have them delivered straight from the Bronx,” says Connette.
The coffee is something special, too. They offer fresh brewed coffee and specialty drinks, such as lattes, espressos, and iced coffees. Most recently on the menu is a cold brewed coffee with a slightly different spin: the Nitro Brew, which is nitrogen infused coffee, fresh out of a keg.
Tucker Connette has much in store for the future of Jondough. He plans to continue expanding his delivery services, as well as adding new specialty items to the menu revolving around holidays.
“Just about every day is a holiday for something,” says Connette. “I would also love to have a radio station come out and cover a doughnut eating competition!”
Jondough likes being involved in the community and plans to do more in the future as the business grows. They have donated doughnuts to various events such as a veteran’s breakfast and area school, church and community functions.
“Also, any leftover doughnuts at the end of the day are given to a volunteer who takes them to churches downtown,” says Connette.
Jondough Coffee and Doughnuts is located at 113 Village Road NE in Leland, next to the Waffle House. Shop hours are Monday through Saturday 6:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. and Sunday 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. For delivery and more information, call 910-399-7548.