Rise Biscuits and Donuts is primed for their grand opening on Saturday, December 5th. We sat down with owner David Dowdy to talk about how he got started with Rise and how excited he is to join the Cameron Village family.


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m originally from Farmville, VA, about 2 hours north of here. Born and raised, went to college there. I moved here about 11 years ago. I was in the car industry for 15 years as a sales/finance manager. About a year and a half ago, we had a little boy. He’s actually turning one this week.

What made you choose Rise Biscuits and Donuts?

I had been looking at franchises for a while, something that could get me excited all while still having a great business model. And I could not find a better model to fit that than what Rise does. From the chef-driven food and atmosphere to the culture.

Most people in the food industry are used to working 4pm–2am and not really having much of a family life. Our employees can have that here. We try not to work anybody over 40 hours a week if possible so they can have a work/life balance. And that goes for me as well. Not this week (because of the grand opening), but in the future it will grant me the serenity to be able to do that.

And on the customer side of it, it’s a place they want to come to. We joke about it. Nobody needs a donut or a biscuit. They want a donut or a biscuit. And so people leave out of here smiling and happy. And there’s something to be said for that. I appreciate seeing the little kids. If fingerprints aren’t on that donut case by the end of the day, then we did something wrong.


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What led you to picking Cameron Village?

A stroke of luck. I’d actually met with my broker at Carolina Cafe (in Cameron Village) to go over locations in downtown Raleigh. And we ended the meeting and he said, “Was there anywhere else that you’d like to be.” I said, “Well, if I could end up in Cameron Village, we wouldn’t have to have another conversation about this.”

Not 48 hours later, he called me and said, “I just found out that Best Buy Mobile is moving out. Why don’t you go take a peek at it?”

20 minutes later, I was parked right in front of the store. I didn’t even have to come inside. They were clearing their Best Buy stuff out and I was calling my broker to say, “Yes. Move Forward.”

The corner spot with all the glass, being in Cameron Village with the amount that the area is growing and will grow even more, NC State, Broughton, the apartment complexes, the other hundred tenants here in the Village…it’s just perfect here.

What kind of feedback have you received since the announcement?

Everything’s been positive. From open arms by the community around here to everybody shouting, “When?! When?! When’s the grand opening?!” For me, it can’t happen soon enough.


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What’s the response been like for the giveaways you’ve had leading up to the grand opening?

The first one I timed out here was about 8½ minutes from start to finish for 500 donuts to be gone.

What’s makes this Rise different from the others?

We have one in Raleigh. We have one in Morrisville. We have one in Durham. There’s one coming in Carrboro and another in downtown Durham. And there’s more coming across the state in the future. But this one. I feel very strongly about this one as far as what we have to offer. To bring a piece of Rise to Raleigh. It’s been needed. I don’t have a crystal ball but I foresee the community enjoying what we have to offer.

What is your personal favorite biscuit and donut?

All of them? If I had to choose one, I would have to say the Creme Brulee Donut and as far as biscuit goes, you can’t really go wrong with the classic Chicken Biscuit with Honey and maybe a little bit of cheese.


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With the opening right around the corner, how are you feeling?

I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you there was a little bit of butterflies there. But they’re good emotions. Anxious, excited, happy… I can finally see about a year of work come to fruition. And probably I’m just as excited for the community to experience Rise.

Saturdays, typically we have a line out the door and I would think this Saturday would be the same way. I don’t know how far down the block it’s gonna go, but I hope to see it at the other end of the block. It’ll be fun. That’s the best thing. It’ll be fun for everybody. People get excited about these things and I’m just the same.

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Make sure you welcome Rise Biscuits and Donuts to the Cameron Village family and pick up one of their amazing biscuits and/or donuts. Creme brulee sounds like a good start to us.

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