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Hinesville gets new doughnut shop
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Fixtures around the counter show they are set up to hold doughnuts and other baked items.
Liberty County residents now have easy access to hot, fresh doughnuts at the  Donut Connection franchise that opened today in Willowbrook Plaza on Highway 196. Renovations on the old Ice Cream Zone started in early October and the doughnut shop is now ready for business, according to Rodney Rogers, store coordinator.
And just as Rogers expected, the community is looking forward to the store opening.
"Everywhere I go, they're excited," he said.
While buying paint at Lowe's, Rogers struck up a conversation with paint center employee Joseph Lemay and mentioned the upcoming opening.
"I'm from New England and we really don't have a doughnut shop around here, and it's about time that we get something like that," Lemay said.
He moved to Liberty County five years ago from Cape Cod and thinks the business will do well.
"Because they opened that extension on Frank Cochran, it'll be more accessible than other places that have been there before," Lemay said.
"I'm probably going to go head up there before I go to work in morning," Lemay said.
Opening as early as 5 a.m. on weekdays, the doughnut shop will feature drive-through service and a variety of cake donuts, East cake donuts, fancies, pastries and breakfast sandwiches on bagels, croissants and biscuits.
Touting its eight to 10 coffee flavors and real cream, the chain has adopted the slogan "worlds best coffee."
"Listen, people are going to love our coffee. I'm telling you," Rogers said. "We'll probably sell more coffee than we will donuts."
Customers can choose from regular, decaf and iced coffees, and orders are prepared to the coffee drinkers' liking - right down to specific cream and sugar requests. Rogers thinks this service is what will make the store unique.
"We do everything for you," Rogers said. "(Coffee) made ready to go, no spilling it on you in the drive-through the lid's on there. You're ready to go."
Rogers said an unfilled niche in the community for a shop like his and the area's comparatively younger market prompted his company to take up residence in Liberty County. He predicts the shop will be busy.
"The younger people are used to getting things to go," Rogers said. "Even though we have space to sit down, I think 90 percent of our sales will be to-go."
The store will be open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Rogers said he thinks the prices are reasonable.
"We're more than a convenient store, but cheaper than Starbucks," Rogers said. "We serve basically the same products and coffee as Dunkin' Donuts."
Donut Connection has been in business since 1995.
There are currently three other Donut Connection stores in the Savannah area. Ronnie Rogers will be the area supervisor and Steve Fobbe will serve as the store manager in Hinesville.
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