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Donut Miss Out: Union Square Donuts Rolls into Harvard Square

Union Square Donuts opened at 15 JFK St. on Saturday.
Union Square Donuts opened at 15 JFK St. on Saturday. By McKenna E. McKrell
By Sidney K. Lee, Crimson Staff Writer

Boston-based donut chain Union Square Donuts made its debut in Harvard Square on Saturday.

Situated at 15 JFK St., the new location is the latest addition to Union Square Donuts’ existing roster of stores in Boston, Brookline, and Somerville.

The award-winning shop opened their first location 10 years ago in Somerville before moving to 20 Bow St. in Concord, Massachusetts. According to co-founder Josh Danoff, Union Square Donuts has been “actively looking” for a location in Harvard Square throughout the chain’s “slow and steady” growth.

“We’ve always had our eye on Harvard Square. It really was always a location that we wanted to have,” Danoff said.

According to Danoff, Union Square Donuts has been involved in Harvard spaces for a number of years, including bringing donuts to the Tuesday farmers’ markets in Harvard’s Science Center Plaza.

“This just feels really great, having gone from having our donuts in the case on a rack at the Harvard farmers’ market to having a brick and mortar,” Danoff said.

“It’s a small shop, but I walked in and I had a smile on my face,” he added. “Our team did such an amazing job of taking a very small space — and with all the requirements that go into a space — and just getting everything in there that we needed.”

The shop’s interior features a glass display of their donut offerings. Aside from the classic flavors of donuts, Union Square Donuts offers specialized flavors such as “Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar” and “Salted Brown Butter Cruller,” and the store is “constantly coming up with seasonal flavors.”

“This is donut weather, so we have a lot of apple and pumpkin and just those fall flavors that, when you live in New England, you just gravitate towards,” Danoff said.

Christine Li, a visitor to Cambridge, said she wanted to see what food Cambridge had to offer and decided to try out Union Square Donuts, which she described as a “great store experience.”

“It leaned on the sweet side, but I think there was a depth of flavor that balanced out the sweetness,” Li said.

Lauren Crum, a customer, described her donut as “delicious” and was impressed by the “huge sample sizes.”

The store’s free sample tastings are a “plus,” according to customer Emily Song, because customers can try the flavor before ordering.

“I don’t see that at any other shops,” Song said.

Union Square Donuts is currently open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with plans to extend hours as they finalize logistics.

“We took the opportunity and are incredibly, incredibly excited to be able to call Harvard Square home for Union Square Donuts,” Danoff said.

—Staff writer Sidney K. Lee can be reached at sidney.lee@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @sidneyklee.

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