Duck Donuts invited students from The Vista School in Hershey, PA to visit its new store, which opens to the general public on May 19. As part of the experience, the students made and decorated their own Duck Donuts creations while also getting a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s third Pennsylvania donut shop.

“We are so excited to introduce the Hershey community to Duck Donuts and to give the honor of making the very first donuts at our shop to an inspirational group of young people that we admire. The students from The Vista School will learn about making fresh donuts, and they can create their own personal creation all in a sensory-friendly environment,” says Todd Plummer, co-owner of Duck Donuts in Hershey. “If we can make learning fun while we make some award-winning donuts, and share some special time with our young friends from The Vista School, then we’re off to a great start in the community.”

“The Hershey launch is unique because Todd, Stephanie, and Tara (co-owners of the new Duck Donuts) have combined their passion for warm, delicious, and made to order donuts with a special way to celebrate children, even before the doors open. As part of our company culture, we emphasize the importance of giving back to the communities we are fortunate to serve,” says Russ DiGilio, founder and owner of Duck Donuts Franchising Company LLC. “Our #QuackGivesBack initiative is franchise-wide and each store chooses the charity or organization they will donate to. The Hershey co-owners chose The Vista School Playground Project because they see the tremendous impact the school has on a family that’s close to them. Autism Awareness was highlighted in April, and the Hershey co-owners are making sure that the awareness and education continues.”

The students were at the shop from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon and thoroughly enjoyed the process.

“Community-based instruction is part of The Vista School’s curriculum and ordering a donut, watching the actual frying, choosing any combination of toppings, drizzles, and frostings, and then packaging their treats is an exercise the students will really enjoy,” says Linda Whipple, Director of Development at The Vista School. “They’ll learn what Duck Donuts team members do and perhaps learn skills they can use later when they’re working in paid positions with local employers.”