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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 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 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

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]

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. 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]

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]

DeAngelis Donuts
Rochester, PA
DeAngelis Donuts offered "delightfully different donuts" at three locations. This Rochester location was the first, is still open and features a this intact, original sign. This was one of two of these signs created in the early 1960s. The one in Beaver Falls, PA was destroyed when that location closed. The plastic doughnut revolves with assistance from a slip clutch to deal with high winds. The owner spends about $600 per year to maintain this sign. The Chippewa location is still open but does not have a sign like this. [map]

Mello-Creme Donuts
Lima, OH

The Donut Shop
Russells Point, OH
The Mello-Creme Donuts chain was founded in 1946. The giant fiberglass doughnuts were created by using a truck tire inner tube as the mold. These signs may look like they are from the 1950s but they were actually created in 1970 for Hinkle Donuts. Hinkle had two of these signs made for its Lima and Lakeview, OH locations. A few months after Hinkle folded in 1973, these signs were acquired and reworked for Mello Creme Donuts. Mello Creme had eight locations at one time but this is the only one left. The lettering on the Russells Point sign was later changed to "The Donut Shop". Both signs originally revolved on their poles. The Lima sign's neon and chasing bulbs are well-maintained but only lit in the early morning. The Lima store occupies a former Pure Oil gas station. Many examples of this company's cottage style stations can be found throughout this section. [Lima map]; [Russells Point map]

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

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