Flavor, nostalgia, convenience and community are some of the secret ingredients of Buckeye Donuts’ success over the decades.
For the fourth year in a row, Buckeye Donuts has been voted Best Late Night Meal by The Lantern readers. Although much of the High Street has changed to be almost unrecognizable, one thing has remained the same over the years: selling the same goodies.
Jimmy Barouxis, third-generation Buckeye Donuts owner since 2001, said he frequently ran into regulars from previous years, especially during football season. One case close to his heart is that of a man and his son who come every October to take a photo behind the counter.
“His son is taller than me now,” Barouxis said. “We took a photo right behind the counter every year. I think we have about 10 years to do this.
For students on campus, Buckeye Donuts is frequented in large part because it’s fast, convenient, and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, true to its motto “always open, never closed,” said Barouxis.
But alumni go out of their way every year to return, due to the quality, nostalgia and dedication to serving the community at every opportunity, said Barouxis.
“On Christmas Day we have a line. New Year, we have a line. Thanksgiving, a line, ”said Jason Payne, production manager of Buckeye Donuts. “It’s very old fashioned here. This is a good thing.”
Payne, who has worked at Buckeye Donuts for over 30 years, said the donuts are all cut, filled and coated by hand, as has been tradition since the store opened. He said he thought the quality was better than most modern donut joints.
“The dough is completely hand-cut, it’s completely hand-cut,” Payne said. “Sometimes they’ll be a bit bigger and some a bit smaller, although that’s the nature of hand-cut stuff – it’s better.”
With over 50 flavors to choose from, there’s something for everyone, Barouxis said. Not only have the donuts been made using the same methods since the store opened, they’re fresh every day of the week and twice a day five days a week.
“Let the product speak for itself – that’s the key,” said Barouxis. “It’s the number one thing and then, of course, you have to advertise it. But if you advertise below average quality products, it won’t get you far. You won’t get repeat business. Without customer retention, you cannot have a successful business.
This repeated activity has paid off and Barouxis said Buckeye Donuts recently broke his sales record. Although he did not release specific numbers, he said the company is doing well.
The business is booming, but Barouxis said he does not plan to expand the business while he owns it.
“That’s enough,” Barouxis said. “You know, I don’t need anything more than that. I’d rather be small but good, rather than two or three pitches and it’s just mediocre.
Despite the reputation Buckeye Donuts has built for itself as a late night watering hole, Barouxis said the store has been popular for some time. In 2001, when Barouxis took the reins, the famous musician Prince entered the store, increasing his popularity at the right time.
“It was before the Internet when I took over,” said Barouxis. “I had to advertise on paper and word of mouth. Word of mouth is the best advertisement, I think, but it takes time. But at the time the radio called me and I was here, I served him and it was in the newspaper.
Prince is not the only well-known personality to have set foot in the fragrant shop during Barouxis’ reign. Dave Attell of the early 2000s Comedy Central show “Insomniac,” which covered 24-hour late-night restaurants in different cities, introduced Buckeye Donuts in Season 4, Episode 9, Barouxis said.
With customers ranging from Ohio college students to international pop stars, stable business and full store ownership, Barouxis said customers will never have to worry about Buckeye Donuts leaving.
“I want to keep a continuous chain of Buckeye Donuts 24/7,” said Barouxis. “Buckeye Donuts is here to stay. “