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Donut Signs (page 1)

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The photos on these pages were moved here from my Signs and Giant Food sections to accompany an article I wrote for the Society for Commercial Archeology's Journal magazine.

Randy's Donuts
Inglewood, CA
Kindle's Donuts
Los Angeles, CA

Randy's Donuts opened in 1953. Randy's was part of the Big Do-Nut Drive-in chain, founded in Los Angeles in 1950. There were about ten locations, each with identical 32 foot tall rooftop doughnuts. The Randy's location was the second one in the chain. Five of these locations still exist. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, and 4. [map]

Kindle's Donuts was the chain's first location, built in 1950. [map]

There was a location in Culver City, CA which is gone now.

Donut King II
Gardena, CA
2008:
2013:

Donut King II was the third location in the chain. The building was repainted from yellow to beige around 2012. [map]

Dale's Donuts
Compton, CA

Dale's Donuts was the fifth location in the chain. [map]

Bellflower Bagels
Bellflower, CA
Randy's Donuts
El Segundo, CA

Bellflower Bagels was one of the later locations. I don't know if this donut was ever mounted on the roof. This donut is smaller than the others. It is only 22 feet in diameter. [map]

Randy's Donuts opened this location in 2018. This donut sign is about 10 feet tall. [map]

Mrs. Chapman's Angel Food Do-Nuts
Santa Fe Ave.
Long Beach, CA
Mrs. Chapman's Angel Food Do-Nuts
Carson St.
Long Beach, CA
Mrs. Chapman's
Angel Food Do-Nuts
Long Beach Blvd.
Long Beach, CA

former Mrs. Chapman's Angel Food Do-Nuts
E. 7th St.
Long Beach, CA
2013:
2015:

I believe all three of these giant donuts were produced in the early 1950s for Mrs. Chapman's Angel Food Do-Nuts. The chain must have been inspired by the Big Do-Nut Drive-ins described above. According to one source, there were 21 locations in the chain but only these four had giant donuts. The donuts are made metal. According to one source, the giant donuts were produced by McCloskey Sheet Metal. This photo seems to indicate that Angel Food owned a Big Do-Nut building at some point. There was probably a location in Compton, CA as well.

The donut at the Santa Fe Ave. location has looked the same since at least 2007.

The Carson St. location was operating as Billy Donuts when the first photo above was taken in 2008. It returned to the Mrs. Chapman's Angel Food Do-Nuts name around 2015. That same year, the donut was repainted for the 4th of July. That paint job still remains in 2016 (second photo above).

The Long Beach Blvd. donut and stand have also looked the same since at least 2007. [Santa Fe Ave. map]; [Carson St. map]; [Long Beach Blvd. map]

The Mrs. Chapman's Angel Food Donuts on E. 7th St. housed the Original Grind when the first photo above was taken in 2013. It was known as Cooper's Donuts in the 1960s. In 2008, the store was known as the Daily Grind. In 2014, Dunkin' Donuts purchased the property and planned to demolish the building. The company was not interested in keeping the donut. A representative stated that sign did not fit their corporate image which was more focused on beverages and sandwiches these days. When residents expressed their dismay over the removal of the donut sign, plans were made to donate it to the City of Long Beach. The City would store the sign until another place to install it could be found. However, after much public outcry, Dunkin' decided to keep the donut on the property. It was restored and installed on top of the store's sign. The donut is now painted with chocolate frosting and multi-colored sprinkles. For more, see this website. [map]

Home Cut Donut
& Kolaches
Lafayette, LA
Paradise Donuts
Kingston, OK
Home Cut Donut & Kolaches has been here since around 2008. This sign was installed around 2017. The donut design may have been inspired by the Mrs. Chapman's signs shown above. The store is housed in a former Taco Bell building. [map]

This giant donut at Paradise Donuts was installed around 2016. The store has been there longer than that. [map]

The Donut Hole
La Puente, CA

The Donut Hole was built in 1968. The building features a 46 foot long drive-thru tunnel between two 26 feet tall fiberglass donuts. It was designed by local architect E. Forestal as part of a chain with five locations in Southern California. The first one was built in Covina in 1963. None of the other buildings featured giant donuts. This La Puente location is open 24 hours a day. [map]

Donut Signs
page 2
Donut Signs
page 3
Donut Signs
page 4
Donut Signs
page 5
Donut Signs
page 6
Dawn Donuts Mister Donut
Main SCA Article
Companion Page
Main Signs Page

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