After 48 years of serving the best donuts in Glendora, The Donut Man has decided it’s time to expand.

Starting Friday, June 26, at 8 a.m., The Donut Man will be in downtown Los Angeles at the Historic Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, making every donut by hand on site. The first 100 customers will receive a free sprinkle donut.

The new store will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“The first question everyone asks us is ‘Why now?’ Then the second is ‘Why Grand Central Market?’ Both answers go hand in hand, because the why is the where,” The Donut Man said on its website. “The Donut Man on Route 66 in Glendora is so special. Its history is rich and deep in the area and we wanted to keep that historical feel. Anyone can build a state-of-the-art kitchen and put a name on it, but very few have the privilege to be a part of such a historical landmark that is Grand Central Market.

The famous Strawberry Donut

“Our invitation to grow in the historic downtown district of Los Angeles is not only a testament to our donuts, but what we stand for. Our goal is to bring not just delicious donuts to the area, but a culture of giving back to the community and building team members who grow and learn from their experiences with us.”

The Donut Man has become not just a culinary icon, but a cultural example of the American Dream. Jim and Miyoko Nakano opened the donut shop in May 1972 seeking to achieve their dreams through entrepreneurship. Originally the donut shop was part of a franchise and named Foster’s Donuts. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that Jim became independent and The Donut Man was born.

Mr. Nakano recalls sitting at dinner with some friends discussing his need to choose a new name for the newly independent donut shop. As they were getting up to leave, a little girl said “Look, it’s the donut man!” At that moment he became The Donut Man.

The Donut Man is best known for its iconic fresh fruit donuts. The Strawberry Donut has been featured countless times in local and national media, including NBC’s “Today” show and Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

Jim Nakano

Nakano developed the Strawberry Donut from an over-abundant strawberry crop one year. The San Gabriel Valley and more specifically the greater Glendora area was surrounded by strawberry farms. While picking up a donut one morning, a local farmer mentioned that he had plenty of strawberries and that Nakano should come up with a way to use them.

It took him a while to perfect the Strawberry Donut. He says the key was finding the right balance of sweetness, due to how sweet all the components can be. It became an instant success and the customers fell in love with it.

Every donut is made by hand, on site, and every day — the same process, ingredients, and standards that made this small-town donut shop so popular. This can be seen in the unique shape that every donut takes, proving that is was made by hand. Nakano says his success has come from being hard-headed in that he will not compromise on quality and customer service.

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