Charles Circle has brought a little North to the South with the opening of The Donut Hole on Martintown Road.
The business held its grand opening Aug. 18 and is modeled after a doughnut shop in Greenfield, Ind., that he used to patronize prior to moving to North Augusta in 1999.
Circle, who once managed Northside Lanes bowling alley and was a sergeant with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, felt North Augusta could use a doughnut shop.
“I wanted to roll in the dough,” Circle said, as his response to why doughnuts.
Being a retired police sergeant, there were jokes about him opening a doughnut shop, he said. Deciding to go along with the good-natured joshing, Circle started wearing a T-shirt that said, “Keeping the streets safe and the donut shops full.”
Circle’s woodworking skills helped him save money when furnishing the shop. With the help of a friend who is in the cabinet business, Circle built the display cases, counters and even the tables. The wood came from an old horse stall he and his friend tore down.
He has put a lot of sweat equity into the business, he said, finding the coolers at an auction, a glazing table on eBay and other items that helped cut costs.
Above the kitchen entryway is a sign that says “Grandpa’s Workshop;” appropriate for the family-run business that includes his wife, Alice, and daughter Sarah Boothe.
As far as learning how to make doughnuts, Circle said he has a friend who owns five doughnut shops and he learned from him. The store offers select varieties, with the glazed yeast and blueberry being favorites.
“Everybody is waiting for the red velvet cake,” he said.
Circle said he is getting adjusted to running the business before adding a lot of changes to the menu.
“This is all hand-, fresh-made doughnuts done one at a time,” he said.
The work day starts about 11 p.m. and ends 12 hours later, Circle said, with the store open from 5 to 10 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday. And just because the door is locked, that doesn’t mean the shop is closed.
“If someone is here we are more than happy to get them a doughnut if we got one left,” he said.
Prices are $1 for a dozen doughnut holes, 80 cents each for yeast or $7.75 a dozen, 90 cents for cake varieties or $8.60 per dozen and 95 cents each or $9.10 per dozen of cinnamon rolls or crème-filled doughnuts. Prices include sales tax.
For information, reach The Donut Hole at (803) 279-1010.