ITEM PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
A half-dozen donuts from Kane’s Donuts are packaged and ready for a customer.
By MATT DEMIRS
SAUGUS — When Maria Delios was younger, the future Kane’s Donuts owner didn’t understand what her father, the owner at the time, meant when he told their family “Donuts are love.”
After years of working at the family-owned business and seeing the smiles of customers biting into their donuts, Delios now sees exactly what he was talking about.
Friday is National Doughnut Day, the unofficial holiday celebrated on the first Friday in June.
Chicago hosted the first National Doughnut Day in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army “Doughnut Girls.” Kane’s loyalists are ready to mark the tasty holiday.
“The homemade quality and having the variety of different flavors is something that really separates Kane’s from stores like Dunkin Donuts,” Jason Piazza, of Lynn, said as he dipped his gluten-free chocolate glazed donut into his coffee Thursday. “Plus, they’re huge.”
North Reading resident, Hannah Cahill, 17, said Kane’s trumps places like Dunkin’ Donuts because they are made fresh daily.
Kane’s will be selling a super dozen — a box of 12 assorted donuts including 3 honey dips, bringing the number to 15, which can be purchased for $27. Single donuts are sold at $2.25 each.
Kane’s Donuts isn’t the only North Shore business offering specials for the fun holiday.
Land of A Thousand Hills on Munroe Street will also have specials. A single doughnut, normally priced at $1.59 with tax, will give customers two doughnuts on Friday. Doughnuts are prepared fresh by Central Bakery in Peabody.
Although they will not be offering specials, Dandee Donut Factory on Pleasant Street urges customers to celebrate the holiday by munching on one of their 50-plus varieties offered at the Marblehead shop. Single doughnuts will cost $1.85 while a baker’s dozen is priced at $14.50.
If you can’t enjoy some of these local family-owned commodities, participating Dunkin Donuts will be offering a free donut with the purchase of any drink.
National Doughnut Day’s origins lie in World War 1 when “doughnut girls,” Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance, earned their nicknames by serving baked goods after frying the doughnuts in soldiers’ helmets.
The pair are credited with making the doughnut popular in the United States. Doughnuts offered happiness for soldiers during World War I.
A century later, Delios continues to see happiness in customers who come from all over the world to eat Kane’s specialty doughnuts.
Kane’s opened its doors in 1955. In 1986, Peter and Kay Delios, former doughnut store owners, bought the shop and changed just about everything but the sign and the name. The purchase of the beloved Saugus shop called for a family affair.
Delios said the purchase came out of nowhere. One day my father came home from his walk and told my mother “Kay, call all the kids back to work. I just bought Kane’s Donuts.”
After many years the store was eventually passed down to his kids, who grew up serving the treats everyone adored.
Although Kane’s have been lauded by numerous publications and networks. Some of the most notable honors include being featured on Phantom Gourmet, Wicked Bites, and Saveur’s magazine as part of “America’s 50 best Donuts.”
Carrying more than 16 different donuts, Delios said the donuts at her store weigh four times what you get anywhere else.
Gearing up for National Donut Day, the owners created a competition where customers could submit ideas for a new flavored donut.
After receiving more than 1,000 submissions, Delios spent the past month working meticulously to put together and taste the different combinations suggested. One gentleman, the winner of the competition, really took home the cake.
“He submitted a blueberry lemon zest. A donut we’ve made with blueberries folded in the dough,” Delios said, “It is topped with fresh lemon zest scraped by hand.”
Delios stands by the quality of donuts from her mom-and-pop business and the freshness of the product which are all made with local ingredients, she said.
Donuts which have recently made their debut at Kane’s includes the butter pecan, the chocolate salted caramel, and gluten free options.
Want to know more about people’s love for donuts? Check out the results from NationalToday.com/Postmates Donut Index survey asking 1,000 Americans about their donut-eating habits.
Matt Demirs can be reached at [email protected]