Residents and visitors to Aquidneck Island now have another "sweet" option for their morning breakfast or cup 'o Joe.
Honey Dew Donuts opened its very first store in town Monday inside the Irving Gas station store at 3302 East Main Road.
This is the first Honey Dew Donuts to open not only in Portsmouth, but also Aquidneck Island, says owner Bob Bowen of Providence, who is the brother of Honey Dew founder Richard Bowen. "I'm hoping to open three to four more in all three towns (Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth) and even in Bristol. We don't have too much of a presence in the area."
It was difficult not to notice the new Honey Dew Donuts store while driving down East Main Road Monday. A giant inflatable coffee cup, advertising the "local flavor" was set up outside the Irving gas station.
Inside the new Honey Dew, a display of rainbow-sprinkled and glazed doughnuts tempted customers from behind the polished glass case. A woman was ordering a coffee with cream and sugar to go.
Business on the first day was "steady," according to Honey Dew employee Carissa Ilidan of Pawtucket.
"People were happy we opened," she said.
The Honey Dew Donuts on East Main Road features a drive-thru behind the gas station, as well as a sit-down area inside.
The new coffee shop joins other stores in an almost food court-type design inside. The other shops include Boss Man Burgers and Geo's Italian Deli.
Honey Dew Donuts will be open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
"We've been looking to settle in a place down there," Bowen said. "It's a beautiful area."
The new company store will employ a staff of six people.
Honey Dew will compete with another coffee shop, Dunkin' Donuts, only a few blocks down the road.
When asked about the competition, Bowen said "We're the local flavor."
"We also have the cinnamon sticks," he continued. "That's something our competition doesn't have. It's our signature item. Those are fabulous."
The Honey Dew company now operates 36 stores throughout Rhode Island, according to Bowen. Out of 36, 30 of the stores are franchised.
Honey Dew Donuts' first store opened in Mansfield, Mass., in 1973. Today, the company operates 153 stores throughout New England.
For more information about Honey Dew Donuts, visit the company's Web site here.