Taste, nostalgia, convenience, and community are some of the secret ingredients in Buckeye Donuts’ decades of success.
For the fourth year in a row, Buckeye Donuts was voted Best Late Night Meal by readers of The Lantern. While much of the high street has become almost unrecognizable, one thing has stayed the same over the years – selling the same sweet treats.
Jimmy Barouxis, the third generation owner of Buckeye Donuts since 2001, said he often hooks up with regulars from the years before, especially during the football season. An example close to his heart is a man and his son who stop by in October every year to take a picture behind the counter.
“His son is taller than me now,” said Barouxis. “We took a photo right behind the counter every year. I think we spent about 10 years on it. “
For students on campus, Buckeye Donuts is frequented primarily because it’s fast, convenient, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and its motto is “always open, never closed,” said Barouxis.
But alumni go out of their way to return each year because of the quality, nostalgia, and dedication to serving the community at every opportunity presented, Barouxis said.
“Christmas, we have a line. New Years Eve, we have a line. Thanksgiving, one line, ”said Jason Payne, director of production at Buckeye Donuts. “It’s very old-fashioned here. It’s good.”
Payne, who has been with Buckeye Donuts for more than 30 years, said the donuts are all cut, filled and coated by hand, as has been a tradition since the store opened. He says he thinks the quality is therefore better than most modern donut joints.
“The dough is all made by hand, everything is cut by hand,” said Payne. “Sometimes they’re a little bigger and some a little smaller, although that’s the nature of hand-cut things – it’s better.”
With over 50 flavors, there’s something for everyone, said Barouxis. Not only are the donuts all made using the same methods that were used when the store opened, but they are freshly made every day of the week and twice a day five days a week.
“Let the product speak for itself – that’s key,” said Barouxis. “That’s number one and then of course you have to promote it. But if you’re promoting below average products, you’ll only get this far. You won’t get the repeat business. You cannot have a thriving business without repeat business. “
That repeat business has paid off, and Barouxis said Buckeye Donuts recently broke its sales record. Although he didn’t give any specific numbers, he said business was going well.
Business is booming, but Barouxis said he has no plans to expand the business during his tenure.
“That’s enough,” said Barouxis. “You know, I don’t need anything else. I’d rather be small but nice instead of two or three locations and it’s just mediocre. “
Despite the reputation Buckeye Donuts has built as a nighttime hangout, Barouxis said the place has been popular for a while. When Barouxis took over the reins in 2001, famous musician Prince came into the store and increased his popularity at the perfect time.
“That was before the Internet, when I took office,” said Barouxis. “I had to do paper advertising and word of mouth. Word of mouth is the best advertising I think, but it takes time. But then the radio called me and I was here, I served him and it was in the paper. “
Prince isn’t the only known character to step foot in the fragrant shop during the Barouxis reign. Dave Attell, from the early 2000s Comedy Central show “Insomniac,” which featured 24-hour late-night dining in various cities, showed Buckeye Donuts in season 4, episode 9, Barouxis said.
With customers ranging from Ohio State students to international pop stars, a stable business, and full store ownership, customers never have to worry about Buckeye Donuts going.
“I want to have a continuous chain of Buckeye donuts around the clock,” said Barouxis. “Buckeye Donuts is here to stay.”