By Ceci Creissen, Julia Long
If you live in Chapel Hill, chances are when you think of donuts, you think of Krispy Kreme, and when you think biscuits, you think of Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. Think again, Chapel Hillians—there’s a bakery in town that combines the best of both worlds.
Rise is a donut and biscuit bakery that was founded in 2012 in Durham by Tom Ferguson, and has recently grown to an additional location in Morrisville with upcoming franchises in Carrboro, Durham, and Raleigh. Before starting the business, Ferguson traveled across the country, tasting and learning how to make the best donuts and biscuits. Darryl Fuller; the manager of the original Durham location, described the rapid expansion of Rise.
“We’re actually expanding on two fronts, we’ve become a franchise company, selling franchises in Morrisville and Carrboro… and we’re also opening some more corporate stores in Raleigh and Durham,” said Fuller.
Rise is a quintessential southern breakfast spot that is hard to forget. What makes this company special is their commitment to innovation and quality. Their menu has some heavenly staples such as a fried chicken biscuit and plain glazed donut as well as unimaginably good, quirky specials.
“Our most popular [specialty] donuts are probably the maple bacon bacon bar… the cronie, and the creme brûlée donut,” Fuller said.
What makes these creative and original breakfast items notable is their quality. Sometimes, when biting into a grocery store glazed donut or a gas station’s greasy biscuit, one gets a nauseous and regretful feeling. However, one will most likely never regret having a Rise donut or biscuit. These breakfast offering may not be the healthiest option but they are capable of making a rough weekday more bearable. The quality of the chicken and the bacon is apparent. The fried chicken isn’t just a heap of mystery meat fried, but the juiciest and most tender piece of chicken one can have. Likewise, for bacon lovers, the bacon will not disappoint. The taste and texture is exactly how one imagines bacon to be. Both of these meats, while tasty one their own, become exponentially better when paired with a biscuit. At Rise, donuts and biscuits are treated with the same care as a gourmet meal or pastry. The service is quick like fast food, but the caliber is incredibly better.
With Rise’s rapid expansion, Fuller had some advice to give to budding entrepreneurs here at East.
“If it’s scary, do it anyway,” Fuller said. “I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs, and the difference between working at a place [and being] an entrepreneur is fear… oh, and a good business plan.”