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By Robin Norris Kendall

November 22, 2016 (Lakeside) -- When you die and go to heaven the first thing you will put in your mouth is one of Mary’s donuts. At least that is what I thought when I bit into one at the new Lakeside location. I am not like Homer Simpson, I don’t dream of donuts…donuts, but these are so fresh and light that I am now a fan.

ECM editor Miriam Raftery and I learned first-hand the story of Mary’s Donuts from Joel Scalzitti who manages the new Lakeside location. Once upon a time, Mary Hennessy had a donut shop in Santee on Fanita Drive. After working many years for Winchell’s Donuts, she opened her own business there in 1984. Over the years, Mary’s Donuts became very popular and something of a legend in East County. They are famous for their 6-inch wide apple fritter.  But earlier this year when the landlord did not renew their lease at the original location, they relocated to a nearby shopping mall at 8959 Carlton Hills Blvd. in Santee. When you go, look for it next to the GTM Discount General Store.

But for Mary, something felt uncomfortable in the new building. It wasn’t like the old place. So Scalzitti searched for a second location that would have the feel of the original. Bingo. They found a vacant building in the old part of Lakeside at 10101 Maine Ave., on the corner of Laurel St. The building had a large and open room with tall ceilings, exposed beams and brick walls. It was once a lumberyard and hardware store and is now alive again with people, food and coffee. And Mary, now age 86, comes in at 4 a.m. to make the donuts and check on the quality of the product.

Both locations are open 24 hours per day, employing 40 in Santee and 23 in Lakeside, where the community has welcomed this delicious addition.

They also offer three types of self-serve Farmers Brothers Coffee and one of them is decaf—no specialty mochas or lattes here; it is all about the donuts, not the coffee.

In addition to the apple fritters, the most popular items are maple bacon bars and cream puffs with fillings of custard, chocolate mousse, lemon, raspberry, blueberry or coconut.  Bagels, breakfast sandwiches on croissants and salads are also available.

I look forward to sampling and savoring more on my next visit!

For more information you can visit Mary’s Donuts on Facebook at:

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