Las Vegas family doubles down on Dad’s doughnut recipes, opening own chain of shops

Step through the door, and take a whiff — that’s when all good intentions and thoughts of counting calories go out the door. Welcome to Donut Mania.

The shop at 4460 S. Durango Drive, which opened in February 2015, is dominated by display cases. To say the shop is tiny is an understatement: There’s not even room for a table to sit and sip your coffee. But with doughnuts like these, who cares?

Donut Mania is the brainchild of Wayne Linsk, who has been a scratch baker for more than 30 years. He worked for a supermarket chain and independent markets, setting up and running their bakeries. When he left, he said he took his recipes — he pointed to his head — with him.

The business has gained such a following that the family opened a second location in Henderson at 725 S. Green Valley Parkway this year. It has perfect placement, Linsk said.

“That one is in between a dentist office and a fitness place,” he said. “And they’re going to open a Starbucks nearby soon.”

Local residents attest to its ability to produce doughnuts worth regular patronage.

“They use quality ingredients, they’re always fresh, and they’re delicious,” patron LaDon McPike said. “They’re the best doughnuts in town.”

He said he found it while driving by and, being a “fan of doughnuts,” decided to give it a try. A Marine for 23 years, he now volunteers to help the homeless and takes them extra doughnuts if the shop doesn’t sell out.

The Linsk family hails from Philadelphia and arrived in Las Vegas in 2004. They followed Wayne’s parents, who moved to Las Vegas in the 1980s. He has been making doughnuts since he was a young man, working at one supermarket or another, always in charge of the bakery.

“I remember being at the swim club at the community pool, and whenever he’d get off work, he would always bring cookies or chocolate chip muffins or whatever, and we would devour them,” said Wayne’s son, Steve. “And on birthdays, having access to him and going, ‘This is what I want on my cake,’ and he could create it the way you wanted.”

Steve recalled being child of 10 or 11 on summer break and waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go into the supermarket bakery with his father. His job was to help bag cookies and breads and ice the cakes. Now, he helps make doughnuts at the shop east of Summerlin.

Wayne said he had the vision for his own doughnut shop years ago but never got around to doing it. Then he decided it was time to “stop setting up bakeries for everybody else” and start doing it for his own family. He found a partner, but things never got off the ground.

“So I found this place, and they ended up doing it with their family instead, and I didn’t want to do that,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to name names. “I thought it was going to be me and this other person. It didn’t work out. So, instead of doing it with their family, I did it with my family. We all sat down and worked it out, and this is what we came up with.”

The family — Steve, 27, is the middle child and a ramp worker for Southwest Airlines; Tyler, 16, attends Palo Verde High School; Jennifer, 33, is a nurse at Summerlin Hospital; and wife, Joy, helps as she can but has a day job as a billing clerk — was on board with the proposition immediately, and each one contributed funds to get it started.

“Knowing what he was capable of, it sounded like something that we could make happen,” Steve said of his father.

In addition to the two current locations, Wayne Linsk said he hopes to open a Donut Mania in Summerlin or the northwest valley. “Right now, we’re content with the two,” he added.

The shop’s top-seller is a strawberry cream doughnut, followed by banana cream and then the Nevadan, a custard-filled doughnut with toasted coconut and maple icing.

Another favorite with patrons is The Samoa, made like the Girl Scout Cookie with hard chocolate on the bottom and dulce de leche on top.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Wayne said. “I just couldn’t financially do it at the time. Then we found this place and worked out a great deal, and here we are today. “They’re things that I used to do in the baking business — cakes, muffins, all that. If you go to the (supermarkets) now, it’s totally different from when I was there. They’re bringing a lot of frozen in. They’re not from scratch.”

Being his own boss means Wayne now wears multiple hats. He lost a baker a couple of months ago, so guess who came in at 3:30 a.m. to make the doughnuts?

Items are made in the southwest location then taken to the Henderson store for “finishing,” which means adding icing and decorating.

“I want consistency in the dough,” Wayne said on why everything is baked in one place. “I give extra toppings. It’s all eye appeal. So, when you see my doughnut versus someone else’s, it’s eye appeal.”

Tyler said he comes in after school for a couple of hours each week. What has he learned? “There’s a bunch of stuff that happens (behind the scenes) that you don’t realize unless you’re part of the business,” he said.

Wayne, 56, is looking forward to retirement. Once two more storefronts are open, he said, “then I can sit back on a beach in Hawaii. Maybe in five years. That’s my goal. I’ll still be the owner, but I’ll let the kids run it.”

Summer hours are from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or when they sell out) Tuesday through Sunday. Visit

To reach Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan, email or call 702-387-2949.

Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes
Trump Slams Amazon for Not Paying Enough in Taxes Trump tweeted his concerns about the company on Thursday. This isn't the first time Trump commented on the issues via Twitter. August 2017 December 2017 Amazon did hold back on paying state taxes in 1995, but the company has been routinely collecting state sales taxes since then. In 2016, the company's report from the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed it paid $412 million in taxes.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
eyecandylab CEO shows augmented reality during NAB
Robin Sho Moser, CEO and co-founder of eyecandylab gives an augmented reality demonstration at his booth during the National Association of Broadcaster Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Trends in access to capital for local black business owners
Denette Braud, owner of Braud’s Funnel Cake Cafe, talks about what owning her own business means to her.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Adobe unveils #HackTheBracket application for March Madness
Adobe unveiled their #HackTheBracket application at the Adobe Summit trade show at Sands Expo. People can use data from Adobe Analytics to make their bracket for March Madness. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Adidas Signs Yankees' Star Aaron Judge
Adidas Signs New York Yankees Star Aaron Judge The slugger is set to don a new set of stripes this season after signing with the apparel company. Aaron Judge Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal includes branding on his batting gloves and wristbands. Judge, the AL's reigning Rookie of the Year, was previously under contract with Under Armour since 2014. Judge won the American League Rookie of the Year award last season after setting an MLB record for most homers in a rookie season (52).
Esports athletes are sponsored, too
Meet Red Bull-sponsored professional esports player Daryl S. Lewis, better known by his in-game name Snake Eyez. Nicole Raz Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Bettor Investments turned into a bad bet
Bettor Investments formerly operated a Nevada-licensed entity betting operation. The company promised “conservative growth, profits and stability for our investors.” Matt Stuart, who ran the fund, shut it down in late 2016 and never made good on an agreement with shareholders.
Starbucks Will Give You $10 Million for a Better Cup Design
Starbucks Will Give You $10 Million for a Better Cup Design Get your thinking caps on because the company is looking for a new cup that's easier to recycle. The $10 million grant challenge sees Starbucks partnering with investor group Closed Loop Partners for the project. According to CNN Money, Aside from the new cup design challenge, Starbucks stated it will test a cup with an inner lining made from plant fibers to prevent hot liquid from leaking. Will you join the challenge for #Bettercups?
Las Vegas bartenders who worked the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival question what they were paid
Reneé Black, left, and her husband Griffin Black talk to the Review-Journal at their home in Las Vegas, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Reneé was a bartender at Route 91, and Griffin was a bar back. They were hired as independent contractors, but received forms months later indicating they were employees. They also were never paid their last day of tips. Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like