3:58 min April 08, 2024

Duck Donuts in the Pocono Mountains

Delight in the “sweet” family story behind Duck Donuts in Bartonsville, PA in the Poconos!

From bacon to blueberry and everything in between, general manager Haley Mertz certainly has her ducks in a row when it comes to creating these tasty treats, always fresh and made-to-order.

But the recipe for her success includes something not on the menu. Meet the rest of Haley's flock, her mom Laura and dad Dave, both important ingredients as family franchisees.

“Working with my family, I don't know any other way of doing business. I feel like I’m learning from the best,” Haley explained.

They first whipped up the idea to open the Poconos first and only Duck Donuts location a few years ago, when Haley’s brother wanted to celebrate his birthday with a dozen Duck Donuts instead of a cake.

“My dad never had Duck Donuts and said it was the best donut he ever had. I jokingly said 'it’s a franchise,' and the idea was born,” Haley recalled.

Haley and Laura are no strangers to running a small business together. For years the mother-daughter duo owned a successful fashion boutique in the Lehigh Valley, where the family is from, until COVID hit. They were looking for a new venture, and this hit the sweet spot.

“We've come to the Poconos basically our whole lives. My dad worked in the Poconos for almost 40 years, so we're very familiar with the area. It was just the place we felt needed Duck Donuts," Haley smiled.

The beloved brand boasts a menu filled with fan favorites and seasonal staples, or you can completely customize your creations down to the drizzle. In addition to the signature vanilla cake donuts, there's also coffee, sandwiches, milkshakes, and more.

The nautical names for some donuts, such as 'The Boardwalk' and 'Beach Ball,' honor Duck Donuts’ original location on the Outer Banks in Duck, North Carolina.

Dave’s favorite is called Sunrise, and now he’s riding off into the sunset with Ollie, the brand’s beloved 'duckbassador.'

He explained, “there's nothing better than seeing the kids stand along this wall and watching the donuts getting made. Their eyes get big and they smile, it’s great.”

“Whoopsie, I went a little heavy on the Oreo,” PTN’s Brianna Strunk laughed when helping Haley put together an order. While Brianna was just wingin’ it, the Mertz's are not. They've received much corporate and community support since opening in July 2023.

“The tourism, the residents, the community, and the vibrance that was here really drew us to this area. It was something very natural for us to come into this community and put down roots here,” Laura explained.

Sprinkling happiness throughout the Poconos, a family serving your family, warm donuts and smiles.