The Times West Virginian

August 18, 2013

Donut Connection bigger and better

Offers frozen treats in its new location in Tygart Commons

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

WHITE HALL — Donut Connection is bigger and better at its new location in White Hall.

In the middle of September 2012, the store opened at its original home in the Tygart Commons shopping plaza, between Walmart and Tygart Valley Cinemas. Donut Connection is still located in the same shopping center, but on Aug. 10 relocated to a unit at the other end of the building beside Sally Beauty Supply.

With the move, owners Shahram and Shana Shafii added another feature — Rommie’s Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Bar — to their business.

They decided to combine the self-serve frozen yogurt concept, which is booming across the country right now, with Donut Connection. They thought doughnuts and ice cream would go well together, and they needed a larger space to do it, Shahram said.

People no longer have to go to Clarksburg or Morgantown to get frozen yogurt, which is good for the local community, he said. The White Hall area has a market for doughnuts and coffee as well as frozen yogurt, and Donut Connection and Rommie’s Frozen Yogurt are helping to meet those needs.

Shahram said the frozen yogurt model allows kids and adults to get exactly what they want in whatever size they like, with no constraints. Another offering is regular soft-serve ice cream, which Shana said has been a big hit with customers.

“The combinations are really endless, with over 18 flavors of ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt to choose from and over 50 toppings to choose from,” Shahram said. “It’s sort of unlimited options.”

Sugar free frozen yogurt and dairy-free options are also available.

Customers can still get all the same items that Donut Connection offered at its former home. The menu includes doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches that are served all day, coffee products, smoothies and more. In the future, the business will start selling pizzas and the popular drink called bubble tea.

Shahram said customers love the couches and the seating inside the store, and the space is colorful, vibrant and fun. Shana’s mom, Lori Wagner, helped with the interior design and the menus.

There are plans to add an outdoor seating area before fall.

Most of the traffic comes at nighttime, and the Shafiis want their shop to be a place where people can hang out and have a good time after ball games and bring their family and friends. WiFi is available there.

For any restaurant in the community, the service must be friendly, welcoming and prompt, and the staff members of Donut Connection and Rommie’s Frozen Yogurt are energetic and create an enjoyable atmosphere, Shahram said.

Shana said they are lucky to have such a great staff, which is made up of about 10 people. When the business was closed for a week during the transition to the new location, the team was on site helping out and cleaning.  

Shaun Petracca, the developer of Tygart Commons, also assisted Shahram and Shana as they were working to move into the new unit in the plaza.

“It’s a great location,” Shahram said of how the White Hall area is expanding and doing business. “We like it out here a lot.”

The business will hold a grand-opening celebration this Friday with specials and giveaways. People can check out the Facebook page for Donut Connection and Rommie’s Frozen Yogurt to find out more about the event and also to keep up-to-date on the store’s deals and happenings.

The shop is currently open from about 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Yogurt and ice cream are available starting at 11 a.m. The store also tries to accommodate special orders.

For additional information, call 681-404-5088.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.