Former neighbors turned business partners to open Duck Donuts franchise in downtown Libertyville

The new doughnut shop coming to downtown Libertyville early next year will be known as Duck Donuts because it's a franchise, but the partners behind it are using a modified version for their business name.

"We're moms with our little ducklings, so we went with 'Two Chicks and a Duck,'" said Kelsey Anderson, a Vernon Hills resident and mother of two who is opening the shop with former neighbor Felicia Osler.

Exterior work is wrapping up, and interior construction permits are pending for the little single-story building at 111 School St. An expansive patio is part of the work and was among the features that sold the pair on the location.

The future doughnut shop is attached to the three-story brick building at the southeast corner of School Street and Milwaukee Avenue, where Starbucks had been a ground-floor tenant for 25 years.

Anderson and Osler didn't know each other until realizing their sons, now 12, attended the same day care center. Play dates led to a friendship, activities like volleyball, and eventually a business partnership.

"It was our boys that brought us together," said Osler, who now lives in Grayslake.

Anderson is a case manager for a health care company that runs skilled nursing facilities, and Osler is an accounting manager.

The single moms coalesced on a Duck Donuts franchise when Osler visited Anderson, who was vacationing in Naples, Florida, in the summer of 2020.

"They're really good and they're so light," Osler said of the doughnuts. "We saw it was franchise and pretty much ended up running with it."

They signed up to bring to Libertyville what will be the first Duck Donuts franchise in Illinois.

Duck Donuts opened its first locations in 2007 in the beach resort towns of Duck and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania-based company began franchising in 2013 and now operates in 105 locations in 22 states as well as Dubai and Canada.

"I've always wanted to open my own business," Osler said. "When we did eventually find the Duck Donuts, it kind of fit my design."

Billed as family-friendly, the store will feature a viewing area where patrons can watch their doughnuts being made. Doughnut sundaes and breakfast sandwiches, as well as coffee and espresso, will be on the menu.

From 1989 to 2000, Bernhardt's bakery operated in the small building. It was followed by Dancementer North until 2018.

The former Starbucks and an adjoining space is being repurposed and will open soon as The Joyful Gourmet. The upper two floors of the building once housed a theater, but have been converted to eight luxury apartments, which are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of the year.

Old theater space could become apartments

Starbucks poised to leave downtown Libertyville

  Businesswomen Kelsey Anderson, left, and Felicia Osler met when their sons attended the same day care center. Mick Zawislak/
  Kelsey Anderson discusses the pending Duck Donuts franchise she plans to open with business partner Felicia Osler on School Street behind the former Starbucks in downtown Libertyville. Mick Zawislak/
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