Donut worry: New owners at Powder Day will work to carry on shop’s tasty tradition

The Powder Day Donuts crew, including former owner Jeff Fegelein, Audra Gowdy, Cohen Vanderbosch and George Redfern, joins new owner Brian Rodgers inside the shop Friday, June 9, 2023. Rodgers recently purchased the popular downtown doughnut shop from Fegelein, who has run it for the past five years. Fegelein will continue to work at Powder Day and help the new owners carry on the legacy.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Brian Rodgers, the new owner of Powder Day Donuts, understands what the long-running business means to the community and the importance of carrying on the tradition of creating great donuts that started with Milk Run Donuts seven owners ago.

“It’s certainly a special part of the community and Jeff (Fegelein) has created that,” Rodgers said of the former owner. “We want to make sure that we’re being good with Powder Day Donuts and what it means to our community moving forward. A key part is making sure Jeff continues to be a part of this with us, and we certainly feel fortunate.”

The past few weeks Rodgers has been working alongside Fegelein, who had owned the business — formerly Moose Watch — since April 2018. At that time, Fegelein took the helm after working at the former business for several years, and he has spent years fine-tuning his skills to create tasty doughnuts.

Powder Day Donuts originally opened in 2011 as  Milk Run Donuts and then transitioned to Moose Watch for a year before Fegelein purchased the business and changed its name to Powder Day Donuts.

Fegelein sold the business to Rodgers this spring but plans to keep working at Power Day Donuts for the foreseeable future. Fegelein also plans to pass along his knowledge and experience to the Rodgers family as they become the latest in the ownership line.

“I’m still working on my flight wings,” Rodgers said of learning the process. “Bit by bit by bit, Jeff is showing me the ropes, and one of these days he’ll anoint me and allow me to start with making the dough. Right now, I’m working the fryer well.”

Fegelein had a small smile on his face when he said Rodgers is still working on becoming dough worthy, but he added that day is coming.

He also said the ownership change has brought a new energy to the business, and he is thrilled that Powder Day is a family project that includes Rodgers’ wife Tasha, son Finn and daughter Ryan.  

Located at 941 Lincoln Ave., Unit 100A, Powder Day closed for a large part of the shoulder season. It reopened June 2 to celebrate National Doughnut Day and carried over that soft opening to this weekend, so that Rodgers and the staff could have another soft weekend.

Powder Day will shift to its regular hours — 6:30 a.m. until the doughnuts are gone — Wednesday through Sunday next week.

Rodgers, one of Fegelein’s regular customers, jokingly told his wife that they should investigate buying Powder Day Donuts. More than a year later, Tasha noticed the business was for sale and mentioned it to her husband, who in turned talked with Fegelein, making the one-time joke a reality.

Rodgers said it was his love of Powder Day that led to the purchase, and while he may add some smoothies or protein shakes to the mix down the line, he said customers should continue to expect great service and fresh great tasting donuts every day.

“Doughnuts are the foundation of the Powder Day,” Rodgers said. “I think we have to stay true to our foundation, which is a doughnut shop, and we’ll be thoughtful about how the menu expands. It will be certainly complementary to what we do and who we are.”

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