Daylight Donuts Owner Liva Heang and his staff wake up before the crack of dawn to make fresh donuts for the steady flow of customers at his newly opened shop on South Main Street in Waynesville.

Since their grand opening Saturday, Feb. 8, the donut-makers’ day starts at 2 a.m., when the first batches begin production in the kitchen at 1896 S. Main St., the former Balsam Café.

“It’s very, very busy,” Heang said. “We make a lot of donuts, about 200 pounds of flour a day.”

Dough is kneaded, then rolled into nuts, knots, fritters, pinecones, bear claws and more, before being proofed in an oven, dipped in the fryer, bathed in glaze and sometimes topped with sprinkles.

All said, it takes just more than an hour to prepare a batch of donuts made fresh in-store, Heang said.

“They say the best donut in Western North Carolina,” Heang said. “Sometimes we’ve sold out.”

Daylight Donuts is not just for breakfast, Heang said, and at noon on a Wednesday, donuts were selling left and right, both at the drive-thru and at the counter.

The most popular donuts are the classic glazed, and the Long John, which comes with a variety of fillings.

While Daylight Donuts is an international franchise with more than 1,000 stores worldwide, Heang said he is the one who makes decisions about the menu and sees to other operational details as owner of the Waynesville store.

“I appreciate the customers that support local business,” Heang said. “We try the best, I promise fresh. None kept overnight.”

Other offerings at Daylight Donuts include kolachi and breakfast burritos. The shop is open seven days a week, from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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