Those who frequent Soda City Market may recognize a familiar bright yellow food truck decorated in vinyl donuts.

The Donut Guy has been part of the Midlands since 2011 and owners Crystal and Shaun Paulk are set to open a brick and mortar location on Columbia's Lincoln Street Monday.

Paulk said she and her family are originally from Connecticut, however a slew of life changes led the family to an opportunity to move to the Midlands where her mother resides.

"We had full time jobs and my husband got hurt at work and hurt both of his shoulders," Paulk said. "He was like 'what am I going to do?' We had the opportunity to buy our first donut fryer and he got the machine and put it in our garage... I would tell him 'your job is in the garage.'"

Eventually he learned to operate the donut fryer and began selling his creations at the Sandhills farmers market. 

"When the kids saw him they would call him the donut guy and that’s how the name came about," Paulk said.

Crystal and Shaun have since operated their business together traveling across the Midlands with the help of their three daughters, Genesis, Imani and Shauntae.

"We started basically outside under a tent and grew into this," she said.

The Donut Guy storefront will open at 1215 Lincoln Street Monday. Menu items include hot mini donuts with artisan toppings, "big boy donuts" which are topped and filled donuts, coffee, ice cream and milkshakes. Specialty donut boxes will also be available for purchase which can be customized with a specific color palette, business logos, photos and more.

A new menu item Paulk is excited about is the donut shop's custom coffee maker. She explained that customers can use a QR code on their smartphones to place a coffee order and have a photo from their camera roll printed onto a drink with the coffee machine's latte art tool.

She also added that the interior design of the store will bring "outside, inside." Paulk said the elements of the interior will include plants and will make guests feel as if they are outdoors.

Current hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Thursday to Friday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Paulk noted that these hours are subject to change.

"Everyone has been so nice and receptive, and we’re excited," she said. 

Paulk added that her clientele are special to her and her husband as they have been a major part of the business' success. "I don’t call them customers I call them good friends," she said.

Additional information about The Donut Guy is available on the store's website and Instagram page.

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