BLOWING ROCK — Less than six months after officially opening his gourmet donut shop in West Jefferson, Butch Phillips opened a second location at the Mystery Hill gravitational anomaly attraction in Blowing Rock.
“This is a unique opportunity,” Phillips said on June 10, prior to opening later in the week.
The concessions location, named Front Porch Eats, will feature Hole Lotta Donuts as well as other concession offerings, including ice cream, pretzels and more.
Phillips and his wife, Karen, came up with the yeast donut concept — the recipe a family secret — and gained a cult following in Ashe County before opening their doors, taking their large creations from business to business in West Jefferson.
“I can’t believe how great the local support has been in Ashe County,” Phillips said.
“There’s not two ever alike, they’re all different,” Karen Phillips said of the donuts.
One of those fans is longtime friend Matthew Underwood, the caretaker of Mystery Hill.
“They’re addictive,” Underwood said. “You only need to have one to know.”
Underwood explained that Mystery Hill hasn’t had active concessions in years, but recent changes and an expansion of offerings put the need for on-site food back on the front burner.
“The average visit time is up to about five hours, so it’s too long to not have any food,” Underwood said.
“We’re sharing the space and they’ll be selling a lot of donuts … but we’ll be offering other concessions,” Underwood said.
Front Porch Eats opens at 7 a.m., a couple of hours before Mystery Hill opens, to cater to the morning crowd. Underwood said there will be locally roasted coffee as well.