Sunday, June 27, 2010

Donuts make my brown eyes blue: Bradenton, Florida's former Mister Donut shop







Pass the insulin, please.

On an all-too short visit to Florida recently, I happenstanced upon an eccentric roadside delight in the mid-Gulf coast burg of Bradenton: a donut shop housed in the original 1950s Googie architecture of a Mister Donut shop. Founded in 1956, the Mister Donut chain was acquired by the parent company of Dunkin Donuts in 1990. The Mister Donut name was then largely done away with, along with its distinctive mid-century "W" shaped orange and white trimmed buildings and winking chef logo. A precious few of the original cruller emporiums remain under different names, so it was an occasion worth stopping for when one popped up on Route 41 on my way north from Sarasota to St. Pete. The inside of the place looked original, too, with short stubby stools in a zig-zag pattern like donut and coffee shops used to be so fond of doing but don't do any more. When I asked the young fellow working behind the counter if I could snap a few photos of the inside, he looked at me queasily and said no, so all I have are exteriors. And even though I'm a diabetic, I did patronize this fine establishment by purchasing a scrumptious coconut donut for 75 cents. Rare roadside gems like these should be supported, diabetic coma notwithstanding. Debra Jane Seltzer, roadside architecture scholar par excellence, has a whole page of former Mister Donuts for you to peruse on her words-can't-describe-how-amazing-it-is website. And that's the hole truth, so help me.

4 comments:

Rick said...

Great Post- I have to get there. Next time y'all are in Florida, holler at me!

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Rick, I would have loved to have had more time in Florida and will definitely look you up the next time I can make it!

Pam Thomas said...

I love Bradenton and Sarasota. My mom lived in the area for almost 20 years and it was a great place to visit. Was just down there in April and am sorry to have missed this. Can't wait to see kissing statue on next trip!

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Hey Pam! My grandparents lived in Bradenton, so I know that area really well, too. I have really fond memories of my family driving down there from Connecticut when I was 7 and 10 years old (in an un-airconditioned car, no less). I think that's where I got the roadtrip bug!