Hole Lotta Donuts at Mystery Hill

Hole Lotta Donuts and Mystery Hill are partnering on Front Porch Eats. From left to right: Hole Lotta Donuts Manager Debbie Viers, Hole Lotta Donuts General Manager Michele Swann, Hole Lotta Donuts co-founder Butch Phillips (back), Hole Lotta Donuts co-founder Karen Phillips (front with sign), Mystery Hill’s patriarch Wayne Underwood and Mystery Hill caretaker Matthew Underwood.

BLOWING ROCK — Less than six months after officially opening his gourmet donut shop in West Jefferson, Butch Phillips is set to operate a second location at the Mystery Hill gravitational anomaly attraction in Blowing Rock.

Phillips said Monday that he hopes to have the store open for a soft opening by Friday, June 14, after all the equipment arrives and is installed this week.

“This is a unique opportunity,” Phillips said.

The concessions location, which will be 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 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.

While operating hours haven’t been set, Phillips said they would like to open 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.

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